It wasn’t a must-win.
If the Troup Tigers had lost to Fayette County, they would have faced an uphill climb in their quest to make the playoffs, but the hope would have still been there.
And early on in Tuesday’s game, the Tigers were staring at the possibility of losing the game and falling to 1-4 in Region 5-AAAA, with Fayette County charging out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
The Tigers responded in fine fashion, though, to rally for a 7-5 victory.
The Tigers improved to 2-3 in the region, and they’ll have a chance to make up some ground with a game against LaGrange on Thursday.
LaGrange is one of four teams tied for first place in the region with a 4-1 record.
Troup finishes the first half of the region schedule with Friday’s home game against Shaw.
“You start off 1-3, you have your back against the wall,” Troup coach Craig Garner said. “You have to start reeling off some Ws. There are no second chances.”
Fayette County, which was playing in Troup County for the second straight day after losing to LaGrange 5-4 on Monday, got a two-run double from Adam Patterson in the first inning to go up 3-0.
The Tigers answered right away with a pair of runs in their half of the first inning.
With two outs, Jonathan Foster and Tyler Kemp walked, and they both scored on a C.J. Tatum hit.
“That was big in the first inning to answer back,” Garner said.
Fayette County added another run in the top of the second to go ahead 4-2, and Troup came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning.
Miles Cameron doubled, and he came in to score on a Tanius Harris sacrifice fly.
Brannon Weathers entered the game in the top of the third in relief of Tyler Bunn, and he went on to throw four superb innings to get the win.
After Fayette County went down in order in the top of the third, the Tigers took the lead for the first time with two runs in the bottom of the inning, and they did it with two outs.
Kemp got things started with a single, and Tatum followed with an RBI double, and the game was tied 4-4.
Bunn kept it going with an RBI single, and the Tigers were up 5-4.
Troup padded its lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth.
Weathers reached on a one-out single, Winston Turner followed with a base hit, and Bo Halcomb’s bunt single loaded the bases.
Foster’s sacrifice fly brought in Weathers to give Troup a 6-4 lead.
Fayette County scored a run in the top of the fifth, but Weathers worked out of a bases-loaded jam to keep his team up by a run.
The Tigers then tacked on a key insurance run in the bottom of the fifth.
Bunn walked with one out, and with two outs, Harris ripped the ball to the fence in left field for an RBI double, and Troup’s lead was 7-5.
After Weathers threw a scoreless sixth inning, Tatum was called on by Garner to close things out in the seventh.
Tatum gave up a leadoff single, but he got the next three outs to preserve the win.
“We got down three runs right off the bat. Anytime a team scores first, they’re more prone to win the ballgame,” Garner said. “I was glad our guys stayed relaxed and didn’t press. They answered the call.”