The Troup Tigers jumped into a new season in style.
Facing Northgate in their season opener on Monday, the Tigers scored the go-ahead run on a Bo Halcomb base hit in the bottom of the sixth inning on the way to a 4-3 victory.
Halcomb also pitched two innings to get the win, and Winston Turner started and pitched five solid innings.
The same two teams played a preseason game on Saturday, and while things didn’t go that well for the Tigers, Troup coach Craig Garner wasn’t worried.
“That scrimmage, I could care less. I got everything out of it that I wanted to see,” Garner said.
Troup does have a lot of players making their debut as starters, though, and Garner was hoping they wouldn’t worry about Saturday’s game.
“I was worried about how our guys would respond, because they’re so young,” Garner said. “Ultimately, I tried to explain it to them the best I could. We stayed behind in the count, so we threw fastballs right over the middle of the plate, and they hammered the ball.”
On Monday, Northgate twice had one-run leads, but both times Troup rallied.
“You could see the third and fourth inning, (Northgate) started to tighten up a little bit as the game stayed close,” Garner said. “Momentum I felt kind of swung back in our favor.”
When the Tigers came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, the game was tied 3-3.
With one out, Curtis Grant walked, and Turner followed with a double to put runners on second and third.
Garner then called for the suicide squeeze, but Halcomb was unable to make contact, and the runner was thrown out at home, leaving a man on third with two outs.
Halcomb shook off that bad break and came through with an RBI single to give the Tigers the 4-3 lead.
Halcomb then set Northgate down in order in the top of the seventh, and Troup had the win.
Troup got it done with the one-two combination of Turner and Halcomb on the mound, some clutch hitting and aggressive base running, and terrific defense.
The Tigers turned three double plays, and Grant made a pair of outstanding plays at third base.
“The double plays were big,” Garner said.
After Northgate scored a run in the top of the first inning, Troup answered with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Turner was hit by a pitch, and his courtesy runner, Carson Aldridge, later scored on an error to tie it at 1-1.
Connor Wilson’s leadoff home run in the second inning gave Northgate a 2-1 lead, and it remained that way until Troup scored a run in the bottom of the fourth.
Miles Cameron led off with a single, and with two outs, Brandon Watts came through with a base hit to even things up at 2-2.
The Tigers manufactured a run in the fifth inning to take the lead.
With one out, Halcomb reached on a bunt single, and Jonathan Foster followed with a base hit.
Cameron was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and after a flyout failed to produce a run, Tyler Bunn reached on an error, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Northgate tied it in the top of the sixth, with Armand Upshaw sending the ball over the right-field fence for a solo home run.
The Vikings went on to put runners on first and third with one out, but the Tigers turned their third and final double play to get out of the jam.
Second baseman Tyler Kemp fielded the ball cleanly, he tossed it to Turner for the force out at second, and Turner whipped the ball to first base for the double play.
Troup scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth, and this time the lead stood up.
Troup will be back on the field Wednesday for a road game against Newnan.