WRENS - They were one win short.
After making their way all the way to the championship series in the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old state tournament, the Troup National all-stars found themselves in a winner-take-all game on Saturday in Wrens.
Troup National and Perry split the first two games in the series, setting up the final game.
Unfortunately for Troup, the quest for a state title ended with a 14-2 loss, but it was still an extremely successful summer for the team.
Troup National won the district tournament, and it then won its eight-team bracket to earn a spot in the championship series.
After losing the first game 3-2 on Friday, Troup National returned on Saturday morning and beat Wrens 4-2 to even the series.
Wrens then won Game 3 to earn Georgia’s invitation to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.
“I think we just kind of ran out of gas at the end. That happens,” Troup National coach Charles Mosley said. “The ones who would normally pitch, they were just all gassed.”
Troup National ended up playing nine tournament games over an eight-day span.
After winning its bracket with a 5-1 record, Troup National was matched up against Perry in the best-of-three championship series.
After losing the first game 3-2 on Friday, Troup National bounced back to beat Perry 4-3 on Saturday.
“The first one, we gave up three unearned runs, and had a chance to still win that ballgame,” Mosley said. “The one Saturday morning they came out and they laid it all on the line.”
Leading up to the championship series, Troup National had played a number of tight, high-stress games in bracket play.
In the final game of bracket play, Troup National outlasted Wrens 5-3 to reach the championship series.
“There were two or three good teams on that side (of the bracket),” Mosley said. “Once we got past that first or second round, we played Wrens and West Macon, and those were two really good ball teams. They gave us all they had. They were high-stress, high-energy games where the guys had to make plays.”
Troup National then played two more highly competitive games against Perry before the final game which got out of hand.
“The Friday night game, and the game Saturday morning, to play those games back-to-back, they spent a lot of energy in those games,” Mosley said. “Those were two fantastic games.”
While the final game was disappointing, Mosley said it still an enormously successful summer.
“We made a lot of good memories, and this is something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives,” he said. “The coaches, we let them know that because of them, they made it a great week for us. It’s well worth it. It was a lot of fun.”
The Hogansville 11-12-year-old all-star team also participated in the state tournament, and made it to the final four of its eight-team bracket before falling short.
After finishing second to Troup National in the district tournament, Hogansville went 2-2 in the state tournament, losing a pair of close games.
Hogansville was eliminated with a 9-7 loss to Norcross.
“We had a great time,” Hogansville coach Ron Wilson said. “Dixie Youth probably puts on one of the finest tournaments there is. It’s really all about the kids. That’s what I liked best about this week was how much they focus everything on the kids and made it about them.”