Team eyes district title

By Kevin Eckleberry

June 20, 2014

It was a long, and frustrating night of baseball.

A year ago, the Troup County National 9-10-year-old all-star team made it to the championship round of the Dixie Youth Baseball District 1 tournament.

Facing a Thomaston team that had already lost once in the tournament, all Troup National had to do was win one game to secure the district title.

That win never came.

Thomaston won both games, that lasted about four hours combined, to secure the district championship.

Beginning today, Troup National will try to finish what it started a year ago.

The district tournament gets started this morning in Thomaston, and Troup National is one of five teams participating.

Seven of the players who were on last year’s team are back for another go-around.

Troup National will take the first step toward a possible district title when it plays the host team, Thomaston, at noon.

The first game of the day will be at 10 a.m., with Hogansville taking on Manchester.

“We were undefeated going to the championship game and lost twice,” said Charles Mosley, an assistant coach on last year’s team, and the head coach this year.

Winning district, obviously, is the goal.

“That’s the plan,” Mosley said. “That’s what we’ve been working on.”

Troup National still got to play in the state tournament a year ago, since the top two finishers in the district tournament advance to state.

That will be the case again this year, with two of the five teams moving on to state.

On Thursday, before a practice session at the Harris Baseball Complex, the players got to try on their red Troup County uniforms, and Mosley said that’s when it hit home for the players who they’re playing for.

“You’re representing your county,” Mosley said. “That’s one of the things we talked about. We’re representing all the kids that didn’t make all-stars. They went out and worked hard.”

It’s been nearly a month since the recreation season ended, and in addition to regular practice sessions, Troup National has also played a few scrimmage games, including one against Troup American.

“I was pleased,” Mosley said. “We pitched well, played good defense.”

Now it’s time to play for keeps, and Mosley believes the players are ready.

“A lot of these kids have been playing since the fall with travel ball,” Mosley said. “They’ve been playing a lot of baseball. We’ve been keeping it light. We’ve been doing fun stuff with them, just trying to keep them loose. They are ready to go.”