Moving forward: Troy 8U Tournament team gearing up for State Tournament

Published 6:40 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2019

After an undefeated start at the district tournament, the Troy 8U Tournament team came up one win shy of a championship when they fell to Andalusia. With the 8U State Tournament set to begin on Friday night, Troy looks to learn from their mistakes.

With a district title on the line, Troy fell to Andalusia on a late home run in the game’s final inning.

“We had an extremely strong team in the first two games,” said head coach Will Sanders. “We played three extra innings against Andalusia. They hit an over the fence home run to win the game.”

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Despite coming up short, Sanders believes his team learned a valuable lesson in defeat.

“The little things make a big difference,” Sanders said. “If you give you opponent anything, like one baserunner, that can be the thing that beats you. Always hold your head high and don’t give your opponent anything.”

Troy has spent the last couple weeks regrouping for the state tournament and in that time, Sanders has been able to learn more about his team.

“We have a really strong defense and we have some hitters as well,” Sanders said. “It’s a real special group of kids for sure.”

Troy has been busy on the field as well.

“We have gotten a few things corrected,” Sanders said. “The kids have responded good. We have had some practices in the middle of the day on the weekend to try and prepare them for the heat that they will see at state. We have them conditioned well and I think they are ready to go.”

The step up to the state level will bring added experience and skill level. In their time off, Troy participated in a travel ball world series and came away as champion.

“This group of kids have played quite a few games together,” Sanders said. “I entered them in a travel ball USA World Series and they won that tournament. They are used to the pressure and they are used to the competition level. I expect to see good things from them.”

Troy will open up their tournament against Municipal American out of Mobile beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday night in Decatur.

Along with Sanders, the 8U team is coached by Troy Jinright, Todd Copeland and Brian Davis. Players include Porter Beasley, Ryan Copeland, Cole Davis, Ethan Gardiner, Bradunn Golden, Dru Jinright, Cope Russell, Connor Sanders, Markel Toles, Tyrin Toney, JD Vaughn and Dreyton Wingard.