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Troup National ready for title run

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

The Troup National 9-10-year-old all-stars will play their state opener today in Manchester. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2015/07/web1_7-10-national.jpgThe Troup National 9-10-year-old all-stars will play their state opener today in Manchester. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LAGRANGE – It’s game time.

The Troup National 9-10-year-old all-star team wrapped up its stay in the district tournament nearly two weeks ago.

Today, Troup National will be back on the field for the start of the Dixie Youth Baseball state tournament in Manchester.

Each of the teams will be divided into a five-team pool, and there will be three pools overall.

The three pool winners, along with the top team among the non-pool winners, will advance to the final four, which will be next weekend in Manchester.

The winner of the state tournament advances to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in Lexington, S.C.

At the district tournament, which was held at the Harris Baseball Complex, Troup National didn’t face a whole lot of opposition.

The team went 3-0 in the tournament, and it outscored its opponents by a combined score of 55-4.

In the championship game, Troup National beat Troup American 16-0 to sew up the district title.

Since then, Troup National has played once, a scrimmage game against Manchester earlier this week, but mostly it has been on the practice field, or in the indoor hitting facility at Troup High.

“After the district tournament, we took several days off, and just had some light practices,” said Chip Medders, one of Troup National’s coaches. “This week, we’ve really hit it hard.”

In the district tournament, Troup National opened with a 14-4 win over Troup American, and those were the only four runs the team gave up.

After a 25-0 win over Thomaston, Troup National clinched the title with the 16-0 victory over Troup American.

In that championship game, Troup National scored eight runs in each of the first two innings, and the game was limited to three innings because of the run rule.

After the game, Troup National head coach Danny Swann said it was the sort of performance “we expect out of them, and they know that. They want to succeed.”

Of the 12 players on the team, nine of them play for a travel-ball team coached by Medders.

“This is a special group,” Medders said. “This is a good group of boys. Their baseball IQ is off the charts.”

Troup National will be joined in its five-team pool by Buford, Albany A, Norcross A and Jones County Purple.

Troup National will play its state opener at 6 p.m. today against Buford.

Troup National will be back on the field at 8 a.m. on Saturday for a game against Jones County Purple, and it will play Norcross A at 11:40 a.m. that same day.

In its final tournament game, Troup National will play Albany A at 2:50 p.m. on Sunday.

If Troup National makes it past this weekend, it will play in the final four on July 18-19.

The Dixie Youth Baseball World Series begins on Aug. 7.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports