Smith#039;s homer sparks Greenville

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2005

Greenville pitcher Todd Burkett handcuffed Troy National batters by allowing just three hits in a 4-1 victory over Troy to force a deciding championship game in the Dixie Youth district tournament at Day Park.

Troy National jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and Greenville responded by scoring three runs in the fourth and adding another run in the fifth to close out the victory.

Greenville battled through the loser's bracket to get to the championship game after falling to Troy National in the opening round 13-1 in five innings.

"We were just flat," explained Troy National manager Greg Carroll. "My guys thought they would have an easy win since they beat Greenville earlier, but that's not the way it happened."

Alex White drove in Troy's lone run on a RBI double down the first-base line to score Jayden Barnes, who reached on a Greenville error.

After leaving five base runners on base over a three-inning span, Greenville took advantage of three Troy National errors in the bottom of the fourth inning to plate three runs.

Burkett reached on an error by Troy National pitcher Sam Carrol. Gray Vinson then drew a two-out walk.

Nathan Branum then ripped a double to left-center field to score Burkett and Vinson. On a throw home to try to get Vinson at the plate, Branum moved to third and then came around to score when an errand throw to third was off target.

Dalton Burns put the final touches on Greenville's win when he sent the first pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning over the left-field fence.

"I'm just so proud of my guys," Greenville manager Ken Burkett said. "They never quit. That win extra-inning win over Enterprise gave us so much confidence that we just turned into a different team."

Greenville 2, Troy American 0

It was a classic chess match between the two teams. Every move had a countermove until Troy American made one mistake and Ryan Smith made Troy pay for it.

With the game at a stalemate, Smith ripped a pitch over the left-center field fence for a two-run home run to give Greenville all it needed to advance out of the loser's bracket on Tuesday at Day Park.

The win eliminated Troy American, and it set up a first-round rematch with Troy National for Greenville.

Greenville lost to Troy National in the opening round 13-1 in five innings.

Troy National 10, Luverne 2

Troy National scored seven runs in the top of the fourth inning to pull away from Luverne and cruise into the next round.

Alex White led Troy National with two hits, including a double and a run scored.

Sam Carroll got things rolling for Troy in the top of the first inning with a two-out solo home run. It was his only hit of the day for Troy, but he also scored two more runs.

Evan Strother finished with two hits for Troy and scored two runs from his lead-off spot.

Luverne scored both of its runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Pete King and Tate Welch scored a run each for Luverne, which managed just three hits in the game.