It’s a familiar position for the Troup Tigers.
A year ago, the Tigers lost three of their first four Region 5-AAAA games, but they bounced back to win their next three games, and they finished the first half of the region schedule with a 4-3 record.
That team went on to make it to the state playoffs, and the Tigers eventually made it to the state semifinals for the second straight year.
Flash forward a year, and the Tigers were once again in an early hole after posting a 1-3 record in their first four region games.
The Tigers have won three in a row, though, and just like a year ago, they’re 4-3 at the halfway point of the region schedule, putting them in a tie for fourth place with LaGrange.
Troup, and the other seven teams in the region, have seven region games remaining as they fight for a state-playoff berth.
Four of the region’s eight teams will qualify for the state tournament.
“We’re still hoping that we can win out,” Troup coach Craig Garner said. “Our plans are to make it a clean sweep.”
The Tigers figured to endure a few growing pains this season after losing so many seniors from last year’s team that lost a thrilling three-game series with eventual state-champion Redan in the semifinals.
Still, the Tigers aren’t far away from being 6-1 in the region, instead of 4-3.
They were blown out by Alexander, but they lost very winnable games against Carrollton and Columbus.
The Tigers were up by two runs in the seventh inning against Carrollton, but they ended up losing 5-4 in eight innings.
Troup then got a brilliant pitching performance by Winston Turner against Columbus, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 1-0 loss.
“This year has definitely been interesting,” Garner said. “We feel like we have a little bit lesser of a pitching staff than we had last year. But we could still be very easily be sitting 6-1 right now.”
After the loss to Columbus, Troup bounced back to beat Fayette County, LaGrange and Shaw.
In the 10-3 win over LaGrange, Bo Halcomb got the complete-game victory, and the Tigers scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Turner then pitched six innings against Shaw on Friday to get the win.
Troup was scheduled to begin the second half of its region schedule against Alexander today, but that game has been rescheduled for Wednesday because of rain.
Troup will host Sandy Creek on Thursday before finishing the week with a home game against Carrollton on Friday.
Troup is trying to chase down Carrollton, Columbus and Alexander, who hold down the top three spots in the region.
Carrollton and Columbus are tied for first place in the region at 6-1, and Alexander is a game back at 5-2.
Troup and LaGrange are tied for the fourth spot at 4-3, although the Tigers have the upper-hand at the moment because of their win over the Grangers last week.
Shaw is in fifth place at 2-5, Fayette County is 1-6, and Sandy Creek is still winless in the region at 0-7.
LaGrange will begin the second half of its region schedule with a home against Shaw today.