Senior plays big part in win

By Kevin Eckleberry

April 1, 2014

Brannon Weathers didn’t start Tuesday’s game against Fayette County, but he ended up making a huge impact.

Weathers, a senior on the Troup baseball team, ended up getting the win in relief, and he also had a big day at the plate.

Tyler Bunn got the start on Tuesday, and he gave up three runs in the first inning, and one run in the second.

Troup coach Craig Garner called on Weathers at the start of the third inning, and the right hander responded by retiring Fayette County in order.

Weathers ended up pitching four innings, and he gave up just one run.

“Brannon came in and threw four innings right there. That was huge,” Garner said. “I can’t say enough good things about his performance. That was big.”

The only inning where Weathers faced any trouble was the fifth inning.

Fayette County already had one run in and the bases were loaded, but Weathers got a flyout to end the inning with Troup still ahead by a run.

Weathers worked around a two-out walk in the sixth inning to cap his stellar outing.

Weathers also produced at the plate.

In his first at-bat in the fourth inning, he had a one-out single, and he later scored on a Jonathan Foster sacrifice fly to give Troup a 6-4 lead.

In his second at-bat in the fifth inning, Weathers reached on a bunt single, and he stole second, but he was stranded there.

With the win, the Tigers improved to 2-3 in Region 5-AAAA heading into Thursday’s showdown at LaGrange.

“We needed this win,” Weathers said. “We didn’t want to go 1-4, especially with LaGrange coming up.”

TATUM SHINES: C.J. Tatum was another star for the Tigers on Tuesday.

After Weathers pitched the last of his four innings, Tatum entered the game in the seventh inning to finish things off with Troup ahead 7-5.

Tatum gave up a lead-off single, but he retired the next three batters to get the save.

The Tigers were in the same situation on Thursday against Carrollton, leading by two runs heading into the seventh inning.

Troup was unable to hold that lead and lost the game, but the outcome was different on Tuesday.

“There was little to no drama in the seventh,” Garner said. “The leadoff guy gets a hit, but we leave him there.”

Tatum’s contributions were at the plate were also critical to the win.

In the bottom of the first inning, Tatum had a hit that brought in two runs, helping Troup erase most of a 3-0 deficit.

In his next at-bat in the third inning, Tatum’s RBI double tied it at 4-4.

Tatum put a charge in the ball in his third at-bat in the fifth inning, but it was caught in the outfield.

Although the Tigers are still below .500 in the region with a 2-3 record, Tatum said they’re heading in the right direction.

“We’re getting better, and that’s all you can ask for right now,” Tatum said. “You just have to keep working.”

CLUTCH HITTING: In Monday’s 1-0 loss to Columbus, the Tigers had ample opportunities to score, but they were unable to come through with a clutch hit.

That changed in a big way in Tuesday’s game.

Troup had four RBI hits, and they all came with two outs.

“We had two-out hits that scored some runs,” Garner said. “We didn’t have those (against Columbus).”

Tatum had two of those two-out hits, and Tyler Bunn and Tanius Harris had the others.

EMBRACING HIS CHANCE: Harris has been primarily a guy who comes off the bench, but if he keeps swinging the bat like he did on Tuesday, that could change.

Harris, who is also a standout wrestler at Troup, had a sacrifice fly in the second inning that brought in a run.

In the fifth inning, Harris stepped to the plate with one on and two outs, and he came through with a double to extend the lead to 7-5.

“He’s one that a lot of times you like to have him come off the bench,” Garner said. “He got an opportunity, and he had a big two-out hit.”