Perfect weekend for Troup
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
COCHRAN – There are four teams left standing in the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old state tournament, and the Troup National all-stars are one of them.
Troup National went 3-0 in pool play last weekend to move a step closer to a state championship and a spot in the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.
The state tournament began with eight teams, and they were divided into two four-team pools.
The top-two finishers in each of the pools advanced to the double-elimination portion of the tournament that will be held Friday through Saturday.
The winner qualifies for the 12-team World Series that will be held in Ruston, La. in August.
“Our goal was to get (to the semifinals), and we’re lucky enough to have another week,” said Jason Willis, Troup’s head coach. “We’ve had a good time with these kids, and hopefully it’ll continue on for another month. It’ll be tougher this weekend I’m sure.”
Troup National began the summer by winning the district tournament in Thomaston with 4-1 record.
After losing to Thomaston in its second game, Troup bounced to win three in a row to claim the district crown.
Troup kept the momentum going last weekend with three wins.
In its state opener, Troup overwhelmed Swainsboro 12-1 in a game shortened to four innings because of the run rule.
Troup had to deal with a delay of more than 30 minutes when the game was moved to another field because a bank of lights that went out.
“We came out with a lot of energy on Friday night,” Willis said. “Everybody was excited.”
Troup had its hands full on Saturday morning, outlasting Greene County 8-4.
Greene County rallied from a 4-0 deficit to pull even, but Troup scored the game’s final four runs.
“The Greene County game, we had to be there at 8 a.m., and we were flat,” Willis said. “We gave them six outs in one inning. We were up 4-0, and we let them come back and tie it 4-4. But we found a way to battle back and woke up at that point.”
In its final game on Saturay, Troup thumped North Macon in three innings.
“Except for that one inning (against Greene County), we played pretty solid defense,” Willis said. “But we can be better. We’ve got to go back to work this week to try to close the deal.”
As has been the case throughout the summer, Willis said everyone will be focused on the task at hand rather than look ahead.
“It’s just one step at a time, one game at a time,” Willis said. “You treat each game like it’s yo