J. C. Tilton
With the tournament starting and teams trying to squeeze in missed regular season games, there has been a flurry of action this past week. Two local team survives in the tournament while the rest have fallen. Bad weather forced the postponement of the TVS - Versailles tournament game, the game falls on Monday - the day before deadline. Likewise Brookville will play on Monday against West Liberty Salem.
Dixie fell to Waynesville 5-1 in their tournament game. But they managed to end the season on an upbeat note, defeating Newton in a make up game. It was a close contest 8-7. Kevin McBain was the winning pitcher, offensively Bertke had 2 doubles to pace the Greyhound hitting. Preble Shawnee won a squeaker of their own 6-5 over Oakwood in the first round of the state tournament. However the next round was not so kind as they were dropped 13-3 by Monroe.
National Trail defeated Arcanum 6-3 and advanced to play against TVS. The South bats were hot, they rang up 5 runs in the second inning and another 4 in the 5th to win 9-1. Brookville won their first round game 14-3. Their second round foe was Tri-County North. North got out to an early lead, but Brookville was undaunted. North had an 8-3 lead in the 4th inning, and the Blue Devils shut down the North batters and pealed off 7 runs of their own to complete the upset.
I was able to catch up with Coach Tincher to get his thoughts on the impressive run that TCN had this season - going 19-4 and winning the CCC and the Preble County tournament. “We felt we had a target on our backs after winning league last year. We lost 6 seniors off of that team. We needed young players to step up and provide hitting - which they did. We had the guys stay focused - we took the season one game at a time. There was experienced pitching with Cody Holp - a 4 year starter. But he was injured a couple of times during the year and we had to rely on Matt Ferguson to take his place.” Next I asked him about any young players who stepped up this season - with 6 seniors gone they had big shoes to fill; he mentioned three sophomores. “Garret Gray played well at catcher, Andy Smith at shortstop, and Eric Croley at first base.”
One thing about the North team - they did not graduate much. Most everyone will be back from a strong 19-4 season. The Panthers will have another bulls eye on their back in 2007.