Home-cooking for Troup

By Kevin Eckleberry

June 20, 2014

All-star baseball season oftentimes involves a lot of traveling, with teams sometimes having to head to other ends of the state to participate in tournaments.

That won’t be the case for the Troup County 11-12-year-old all-star team, though.

The team will be at home at the Harris Baseball Complex this weekend for the Dixie Youth Baseball District 1 tournament.

If Troup County is able to advance beyond the district tournament, it will be at home once again for the state tournament that gets under way on July 12.

The only time the team would have to leave home would be if it makes it to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.

The other 11-12-year-old all-star team, Troup National, won’t be playing this weekend, but it will participate in the state tournament.

There are only three teams in the double-elimination district tournament, with Manchester and Thomaston joining Troup County.

Manchester and Thomaston will play today at 10 a.m., and the winner of that game will play Troup County on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Andrew Caraway, who is a co-head coach for Troup County along with Keith Butler, likes the team that will take the field on Sunday.

“We’ve got a good corps, and we’ve got some quality backup guys that will see time, too,” Caraway said. “We have a good group.”

The first all-star players selected were slotted onto the Troup National team, and Caraway said his players are eager to show they’re as good as anyone.

“I’ve got a lot of kids who kind of have a chip on their shoulder, because they’re not on the first team,” Caraway said. “That’s a nice thing to have, too. A lot of them didn’t miss that first team by much, and they know that. They want to show they’re just as good as those guys over there are.”

Considering the depth of talent in the 11-12-year-old division, Caraway said putting two top-notch all-star teams together isn’t difficult.

“Just because you didn’t make the first team, doesn’t mean you’re not a good baseball player,” Caraway said. “There are more than 12 good baseball players in this county. All these boys will go on to play high-school ball. They’re good players.”

As for this weekend, Caraway said the goal is to finish among the top two to advance to state.

“All we have to do is win two,” Caraway said. “That’s what we’re telling them.”

The Troup National team, meanwhile, just got together for the first time last week, but it will have plenty of time to prepare for the state tournament, which is three weeks away.

The Troup National team is coached by Chad Marchman.