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Bringing home the gold

Greenville All-stars win sub-district championship

Hunter Paul and the Greenville Dixie Youth All-stars brought home the championship from the Sub-district 3 final game Thursday night, after sending Troy back to Pike County defeated, 8-6.

The nail-biting, suspenseful game was exciting from start to finish, as hosting Greenville took to the field at Luverne's "Little People's Park", promptly at 7 p.m.

Troy started out with their strongest streak of the night when Jonathon Wade, Chase Rodgers and Chase Avant crossed the plate following a single and two walks, driven in by doubles from Ricky Goodwin and Tyler Wise.

Greenville retaliated in the bottom of the first inning.

Pitcher Lynn Lewis and right fielder Tyler Newton were on first and second bases following a single and a walk respectively, when centerfielder Josh Longmire smacked the ball and sent it screaming over the centerfield fence for a homerun.

Both Troy and Greenville went three-up and three-down in the second inning; Troy did the same again in the third.

Greenville sent five batters to the plate in the bottom of the third, and broke the three-all tie when left fielder Blake Mullins, after a walk on balls, and a hit from Darel Carter, stole home.

Troy was again in and back out in the fourth inning, and going into the bottom of the fourth, first baseman Reco Johnson, catcher Davis Watts, shortstop Caleb Blackburn, Stephen Croley and Mullins each scored runs, taking a resounding lead from Troy at 8-4.

In the fifth inning, Troy sent one runner in, Anthony Sherrer.

In turn, Greenville came to the plate and was in and out in three batters.

Then, in the top of the sixth inning, suspense became so thick it could have been cut with a knife. Greenville's tiring pitcher Lynn Lewis was replaced by first baseman Reco Johnson.

Troy went to the top of its batting order with Taylor Sunday and Jonathon Wade each scoring runs, off a combination of pitches from.

Troy sent Chase Rodgers to the plate, only to hit a grounder to the mound, getting nailed at first.

Following Rodgers was Chase Avant with a fly ball to the glove of left fielder Mullins.

The Greenville crowd, which outnumbered the Troy fans by three-to-one, all became silent, holding their collective breath as

Troy's Ricky Goodwin hit a single followed by Daniel Farrar with a double. With runners on second and third, reliever Hunter Paul, on the mound since halfway through the top of the sixth, struck out Troy's Tyler Wise ending the game, and winning the championship for Greenville, setting them up for a trip to Columbiana-Webb Monday for the district tourney.

"I am extremely proud of our team, said Greenville's Head Coach Fred Johnson. "Our players are very disciplined, and they stayed focused."

Johnson said the competition was stiff to the very end.

"Troy has a good program, and their team is tough - in the end, our fans made the difference for us, getting behind and supporting us to the very end," Johnson said. "So next week, we will be going nearly to the Georgia line to try and bring home another championship.