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Troy Legion splits games

The Troy American Legion baseball team will need some help today to get into the championship game of the region championship.

Troy plays today at 7 p.m. against Tuscaloosa sporting a 1-1 tournament record. But if Troy wants to make it to Monday's 10 a.m. championship game, they will need a little help.

Troy defeated Cherryville (N.C.) Friday night by the score of 9-0, but Troy lost to Macon (Ga.) 8-0 Saturday. Macon defeated Tuscaloosa 5-3 Friday afternoon, so Troy needs at least a Macon loss to Cherryville today at 1 p.m. for a chance to play in Monday's championship game.

"If they give up five runs, we have a chance," Troy coach Ron Pierce said.

If the two teams tie for the lead in their respective pool, the first tiebreaker is runs allowed. Troy has surrendered eight runs in two games, while Macon has allowed only three. Troy needs to win while Macon loses and surrenders at least five more runs than does Troy.

Troy started the tournament with a last-inning explosion for a 9-0 win over Cherryville Friday. Troy did not score until the fifth inning, when Daniel Holder scored on Daniel Porter's RBI double. Porter finished the day 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI.

Troy added to its lead in the sixth inning with Brett Pierce's run. He scored after hitting a double.

In the top of the seventh inning, Troy broke open the close game by walking its way around the bases. Jeremy Jones led off with a single, and Brett Birdsong walked.

Blake Phelps sacrificed the runners forward, but Cherryville pitchers walked the next three Troy batters. Pierce, Tyson Pugh and Anthony Germain walked, the latter two with the bases loaded.

Chase Kelly then singled, and Porter hit a two-out single after Holder popped out to short stop. Jones then singled for the second time in the inning, and Troy held a 9-0 advantage.

Saturday, though was a worse experience for Troy.

Macon pitcher Chris Granade shut down the Troy batters. He allowed no runs on five hits, while the Macon offense had no problems with the Troy pitchers. The game featured 14 Macon hits, two Troy balks, two hit batters and two Troy errors.

Macon scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back. Case Clark started off the game with a single, and Trent Faulkner followed suit. Brian Gordon reached on a fielder's choice, and Faulkner was put out at second base.

The wheels fell off the Troy wagon, though, as Clark, Gordon, Justin True and Granade scored in the inning.

Troy never managed any offense, but Macon added runs in the third and sixth innings to keep Troy from getting back in the game. Josh Crabtree, Clark and Faulkner scored in the third, and Faulkner scored his third run of the game in the sixth to make the score 8-0.