With the winning run standing on first base, Troup’s Jacob Ozley took a 3-2 pitch from Auburn’s pitcher and belted it to the fence in right field.
Jarred Adams, who got a running start thanks to the full count on Ozley, came all the way around to score, giving the Tigers a 3-2 victory in a game that went eight innings.
Ozley felt he let an opportunity slip away a pitch earlier.
With the count at 3-1, Ozley took a big swing, but the result was a harmless popup that went foul.
“That 3-1 pitch, I popped it up. I liked that pitch,” Ozley said.
Ozley was still in a good situation, though, since he figured Auburn didn’t want to walk him and put a runner on second base.
So he looked for a fastball, and he got it.
“The (3-2 pitch) looked good,” Ozley said. “I figured he wouldn’t throw anything off speed.”
As the ball sailed toward the fence, the only question was if Adams would be able to score or not, and he did, easily.
Standing on second base, Ozley clapped his hands and headed back toward his teammates to join in the celebration.
Ozley’s contribution wasn’t limited to the game-winning hit.
He was also the winning pitcher.
Garrett McClurg pitched seven superb innings, and Troup head coach Craig Garner turned the game over to Ozley in the eighth inning.
Ozley set Auburn down in order, and the Tigers won the game in the bottom of the inning.
Ozley has appeared in three games, all in relief, and he’s been terrific in each outing.
Ozley, who plays first base when he isn’t pitching, said it’s reassuring to know the defense is going to make all the plays behind him.
“It feels good. You’re lot more comfortable on the mound,” Ozley said. “Our whole defense is really stout right now. Everybody’s playing good.”
While Ozley is glad to get the win, he felt McClurg was more deserving of it since he pitched seven of the eight innings.
“It really stinks for (McClurg) that he didn’t get that win,” Ozley said. “I feel bad for him, because he pitched a heck of a game.”
With Ozley throwing as well as he is, and McClurg having delivering two masterful starting performances this season, the Tigers have two legitimate aces to turn to.
The one area where the Tigers are struggling a bit is at the plate, but Ozley feels that part of the game is getting there.
“Our bats, they’re coming along,” he said. “They’re a lot better than they were at the beginning.”