Last updated: February 17. 2014 12:33AM - 398 Views
By Kevin Eckleberry

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The last time the Troup Tigers played a game that counted, they lost a heart-breaker to Redan in the third and deciding game of their semifinal series in the Class AAAA state playoffs.

Today, the Tigers will be back on the diamond for the start of the 2014 season, and this team will look a lot different than the one that came within a whisker of playing for a state championship a year ago.

The 2014 team was a senior-dominated one, with upper-classmen filling out the bulk of the lineup and the pitching staff.

The Tigers will have a number of first-time starters when they host Northgate at noon today.

Those same two teams played on Saturday in a preseason game.

“We’re going to have a young team this year,” Troup coach Craig Garner said. “It’s going to be a challenge, but also I feel good about it.”

The Tigers are hoping to continue the remarkable run of success they’ve enjoyed the past few years.

In 2012, the Tigers made it to the state semifinals, only to lose in three games to eventual state-champion Columbus.

A year ago, the Tigers again lost their semifinal series in three games, and Redan went on to capture the state title.

Under Garner, the Tigers also made it to the quarterfinals in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and they made it to the second round in 2005.

Troup is trying to make it to the state playoffs for the 11th straight season.

Also this week, the LaGrange and Callaway baseball teams will open their seasons.

On Tuesday, LaGrange will open its season with a home game against Hardaway at 5:30 p.m.

Callaway will host Pacelli at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in its season opener.

Callaway and LaGrange played on Saturday in a preseason game.

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