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Auburn beats Troy to move to 2-0 in World Series

August 11, 2005

MIKE SZVETITZ / Staff Writer
Opelika-Auburn News
Article Online

All they needed was one run.
In the fifth, with runners on first and second with no outs, they came away with nothing.
But in the bottom of the sixth and final inning, Auburn War Eagle was able to make do, pushing Jackson Harris across for a 2-1 win Wednesday against Troy American in the winners’ bracket of the Dixie Youth World Series AAA (9-10) tournament.
“You know, these kids try so hard sometimes,” Auburn head coach Scott Johnston said of his team’s disappointment when it came away with no runs in the fifth inning with the game tied at 1. “But they regrouped and got it done. We told them (before the sixth inning) that all we need is one run.
“We wanted to get Jackson on base and get him home somehow.”
They did.
Harris led off the sixth with a walk. He then took second and third on consecutive wild pitches with just one out.
Starting pitcher Carson Meadows was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners with cleanup hitter Blain Crain up next.
Crain hit a hard groundball to the left side of the infield. It was enough for Harris to score, giving War Eagle its second consecutive win in the World Series.
The victory gives Auburn a bye today and puts it in a quarterfinal game Friday against the winner of today’s Mississippi vs. Tennessee game.
“They have so much confidence in what they’re doing,” Johnston said. “They are a very good baseball team. I think they are taking it personally that a lot of people thought they wouldn’t do very well just because they are a host team.”
Auburn qualified for the World Series back in June, beating Auburn Tiger in a play-in series for host rights. Before Tuesday, it had been six weeks since War Eagle played in an official All-Star game.
Now, they’re on a roll.
“Having the bye is huge,” Johnston said. “We’re able to rest a little bit and save some arms.”
Meadows’ arm Wednesday was just fine.
The right-hander gave up four hits and one run in a complete-game performance. He also struck out seven.
Meadows also delivered the game-tying hit for War Eagle.
In the bottom of the fourth, Meadows roped a single into right field to score Jackson, who also reached on a single.
“I knew I could hit the ball,” Meadows said. “I just had to put it together and hit it. It’s great to win two in a row.”
Troy struck first, however, with a run in the top of the first. Robert Benton led off with a double to center field. He moved to second on a walk by Brantley LeCroy and took third on a passed ball.
Joey Denison would then score Benton on a sacrifice fly.
Troy will play Texas at 7:30 p.m. today on Field 8 in an elimination game.