Selma opens state play Friday

Published 11:25 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If all baseball games were won on pitching alone, the Selma Dixie Boys All-Stars will be rolling into Eufaula locked and loaded for Friday’s first game of the Alabama State Tournament.

The Selma squad of District 4 plays District Westside team of Mobile at 6 p.m. Friday. Selma head coach Troy Anderson said Tuesday his team had the arms to go the distance.

“The pitching we have will be as good as anything we will see out there,” he said.

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“The pitchers can keep up in any game, and we should not give up any runs.”

Getting mound exposure for Selma will be Crawford Traylor, Austin Anderson, Dylan Lawrence and Joey Raybon.

Adding to the team’s pitching strength will be its speed on defense and on the basepaths, Anderson said.

“Speed will be our key,” he said. “From top to bottom, this is probably the fastest team I have ever coached.”

OK, so what’s left? The main intangible — hitting. Even that has been far above average, said Anderson.

“The hitting’s been good lately,” he said about recent travel games with other all-star teams. “We’ve taken a lot of cuts, and we’re being selective about our swings.”

A slow offensive start in the District 4 tournament at Selma turned into a pair of blowouts for the home team to claim the title.

Forced to beat Millbrook twice to advance to the state tournament, Selma responded with 16-6 and 20-6 victory over previously unbeated Millbrook.

A victory in Friday’s first game would put Selma into a 5:30 p.m. Saturday contest against Troy, which has a first-round bye.

A Friday loss places Selma against the loser of the tournament’s first game, pitting North Sand Mountain against Saks.

In other first-round games, AUM-Montgomery plays Gordo, and Central takes on host Eufaula, both at 8 p.m.