Troy 14U prepping for state

Published 9:51 pm Monday, July 9, 2018

The Troy 14U Dixie Boys team won their district championship last week; now they turn their sights to another state championship when they begin play in the state tournament in Enterprise on Friday.

It wasn’t a perfect trip to Dothan for Chris Huner and his team from Troy, but the team’s 3-1 record was good enough for a championship and trip to Enterprise.

“I was very proud of them,” Huner said. “We actually won three games and lost one, so we had one hiccup along the way. We hit the ball well and, for the most part, we played pretty well on defense, other than in the game we lost. Our pitchers threw strikes. I thought the preparation and the time we put in paid off for us.”

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Troy’s lone loss came in a game where they held a 6-1 lead over Headland. Poor play on the defensive end led to a comeback win for Headland.

“We had a pretty good lead and we had one bad inning,” Huner said. “It was not so much because of errors; I think we had two errors in the inning, but we made some diving plays and had nowhere to throw the ball. It was just an odd inning. You have to give Headland credit. They came back and tied the game and got ahead of us. It opened up our eyes. You can’t just sit back and assume that you have the game won. You have to play all seven innings.”

Troy bounced back and defeated the same Headland team 16-1 to claim the championship.

“We drew a bye into the championship game,” Huner said. “We ended up playing the same Headland team and beat the team 16-1 in three innings. (The loss) got us focused and I think it drew our guys attention.”

The team will now shift focus to the state tournament in Enterprise. Troy will have an adjustment to make when games begin on Saturday.

“We are changing from playing on a grass infield to a dirt infield,” Huner said. “This week is back to fundamentals and shifting to taking a lot of ground balls off dirt in preparation. Our pitchers will get some bullpen work in. You can never throw too much when trying to keep them zoned in. If we can pick up where we left off in the last game at district, we should do pretty well.”

Opening ceremonies will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday evening. Games will begin on Saturday.

The players on Troy’s 14U team include Brady Barron, Nate Braisted, Adrian Cardwell, Kase Chirico, Brady Huner, Jayden Jordan, Skylar Kidd, Darryl Lee, Noah Prestwood, Ben Reeves, Jeffrey Warrick and JD Wilson.