By Thomas Sellers Jr.
ARLINGTON — Billy Davis and the Millington Trojans know not to take any District 14-3A Tournament game lightly.
Last year at USA Stadium the leader of the Trojans watched his higher seeded Millington team be upset by the Cordova Wolves. Facing the Wolves again in the district opener this time in Arlington, Davis gave his squad some simple advice to start the 2014 tournament.
Davis told his players when they go to the plate be patient and have an approach. Millington senior catcher Elliot Chapman put that lesson into action in the third inning.
“The first pitch he threw me, I was way out front,” Chapman acknowledged. “I got over anxious. I finally just relaxed. I told myself, ‘You’ve got to set back, relax and drive it.’ There pitcher had no velocity. When I did sit back and went with my approach, I hit one to right center. And it kept rolling and I got a double out of it.”
Chapman drove in two runners with that hit leading to a 10-0 win for the Trojans over Cordova in 5 innings.
Millington was ahead 6-0 after the first inning taking advantage of walks. Trojan starter Calvin Hodges drove in two runs in that rally.
“It helped me out a lot to pitch with a lead,” Hodges said. “I did struggle a little bit but I got the outs I needed to in the first inning. Then Austin came in and did well.”
The reason junior Austin Jamerson had to come in at relief was Hodges suffering an hamstring injury running out a hit.
“I’ll be fine and I’ll tough it out,” Hodges said of playing the rest of the tournament. “I’ll be ready.”
Jamerson was ready to come in and keep Cordova in check. Jamerson and Hodges limited the Wolves to one hit the entire night.
“I felt pretty good,” Jamerson said. “I came out with a good arm tonight. I wanted to come out and pitch. I wasn’t nervous at all.”
Trojan second baseman Mason Graham concluded the game recording the final out on a ground ball. With the 10-0 win the Trojans advanced to play the No. 1 seeded Arlington Tigers. Despite drawing one of the best teams in the state, Chapman said the Trojans are happy to take on the challenge and know they have at least two more games to play.
“Gives you a sense of relief,” he concluded. “The worst case scenerio you lose one but you still have a game. If we lost this game right here, we could have played someone tough and drop that one. Then you’re done. No one wants to be two and done.”