TROY — There was no sharing this year for the Troy baseball team this spring.
After being co-champs in the MVL last year, the Trojans won their first outright conference title in baseball since 1991 — 32 years for those who don’t care to do the match.
After Friday’s win over Piqua, Connor Hutchinson had said the Trojans weren’t interested in sharing the title.
“We want our own title,” he said after the win over Piqua.
And Ty Welker and the Trojans finished it off Monday with a 13-7 win over Xenia at the Market Street Diamond.
Troy was 19-4 overall and 16-1 in the MVL heading into a home game with Piqua Tuesday, before hosting Fairmont Wednesday in a matchup of the top two seeds in the Dayton sectional.
“It has been a long time since we won an outright title,” Welker said. “We have a number of co-titles (and division titles).”
And the season didn’t exactly start out the way the Trojans expected.
A loss to Greenville in the second game of the season left Troy 1-1 in the MVL, before they reeled off 16 straight conference wins. The Trojans only other loss to an Ohio team this spring is to Coldwater.
“Coach Welker had an unhealthy message for us out in the outfield at Greenville after we lost that game,” Hutchinson said. “After that, we became the team we should have been this winter.”
Welker had another message when they arrive back at Troy High School that night.
“I probably had to watch my language when I talked to them after the game,” he said. “But, when we got back to the school, I also told them there is no group of guys I would rather coach or be competing for a MVL title with.”
And Monday was the culmination of that, although it didn’t come easy.
Xenia was leading 2-1 going to the home third inning.
“We started off down 2-0,” Welker said. “I can’t tell you the last time were down 2-0 at home. That showed some mettle to come back from that.”
And once again, Hutchinson continued on a hitter at the plate.
After going 5-for-5 against Piqua on Friday, he was 3-for-3 with two doubles, a home run and two walks Monday.
“Like I said, I am just sticking with my routine,” Hutchinson said. “I have confidence in all my teammates. Saturday I went 0-for-3 against Milford and I wasn’t the least bit worried. We won 5-1.”
Welker said Hutchinson has been doing it all year.
“He is hitting almost .600 in the conference,” Welker said. “That is legit.”
Troy got back within 2-1 in the home first, when Caleb Akins reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and scored on a dropped fly ball.
Troy took the lead for good in the third.
Eli Donnan singled and Hutchinson doubled.
Donnan would scored on a wild pitch and Akins had a RBI single to make it 3-2.
In the fourth, Donnan was hit by a pitch with two out, bringing Hutchinson to the plate.
On a 1-2 count, he drove the ball over the leftfield fence to make it 5-2.
“I knew what was coming,” Hutchinson said. “I was down in the count. He shook the catcher off three times. I knew it was going to be a slider. He hung it and I barrelled it over the fence.”
Xenia got a run in the top of the fifth to close within 5-3, before Troy broke the game open.
In the Troy fifth, Hayden Frey reached on an error, Owen Harlamert had the first of his two doubles.
Matthew Hempker had a two-run single, Donnan had a sacrifice fly to score a run and Hutchinson had a RBI double.
Xenia closed within 9-5 with two runs in the top of the sixth, before Troy scored four more runs in home sixth to make it 13-5.
Ryder Kirtley singled and stole second.
After Frey walked, Harlamert had a RBI double.
Hempker’s fielder’s choice scored a run and Eli Smith, who singled, would eventually scored on a wild pitch.
After the first four Xenia baatters reached in the seventh, JD Harvey came in to get three of the next four batters out and finish off the MVL championship as the celebration began.
Frey, Trayce Mercer and Harvey combined on a nine-hitter, striking out nine walking four and hitting a batter.
“We are not done yet,” Welker said. “We aren’t looking any farther than Piqua Tuesday, We want to finish this thing off. We have Fairmont at home Wednesday. I don’t know who will be pitching for either team, but that should be a good team between two really good teams.”
After the Trojans accomplished something they hadn’t done since 1991.
“I love this team,” Hutchinson said. “There is no group of guys I would rather be playing with. I love all these guys.”
And they have no problem sharing their success with each other.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]