Troup gets best of Valley

Published 4:21 pm Monday, March 6, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – The first time the Troup Tigers and Valley Rams got together, they combined for more than 30 runs in a game that lasted four hours.

There wasn’t nearly as much drama in the rematch, and the Tigers were just fine with that.

Troup, which beat Valley 17-16 on Feb. 23, won Saturday’s game 9-2 on its home field.

The Tigers (6-2) were down by a run when they scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and they added four more runs in the fifth to build a seven-run lead.

It was a much cleaner game than the earlier one against Valley.

Troup fell behind 10-0 in the first game against Valley, and it committed seven errors and allowed 11 unearned runs.

“It was definitely a lot better than last time,” Troup head coach Craig Ganrer said. “But we’re not where we want to be.”

Garner said it is a work in progress for his team, which had to replace most of the key players from last year’s team that won a region championship.

“We’re trying to get into that rhythm and that mode where everybody is working together, and everybody kind of has an idea of what to do before it’s called,” Garner said. “That’s what we’re looking for is everybody being on the same page, and working together. Right now, we haven’t found our rhythm yet together as a team.”

In Saturday’s game, the Tigers had their bats working.

Troup finished with 13 hits, and Kenly Bridwell had three of them while driving in two runs.

Senior outfielder Camren Russell also had a big day at the plate with two hits, including a double, and he drove in five runs.

Neal Searels had two hits and two RBIs, and Brantly Robinson had a pair of bunt singles.

Ryan Bliss, Colby Williams, Trent Bailey and Cooper Doughman each had one hit.

Joseph Calhoun started for Troup and pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up one run,.

Jarred Helton worked the next 2 2/3 innings while allowing one unearned run.

Searels finished things off on the mound and he was sharp, allowing no runs in his two innings.

The Tigers were down by a run when they scored four runs in the bottom of the fourth to surge ahead.

Bailey reached on an error leading off, and Searels was hit by a pitch to put two men on with one out.

Russell then stepped to the plate and ripped the ball into left field for a two-run double, and Troup had the lead.

After Robinson reached on a bunt single, Bridwell’s two-run single gave Troup a 5-2 lead.

Helton set the Rams down in order in the top of the fifth, and the Tigers went back to work in the bottom of the inning.

Bliss and Williams led off with back-to-back singles, and Doughman reached on an error to load the bases.

Searels and Bridwell then delivered consecutive two-run singles, and Troup had a 9-2 lead, and that was the final.

Troup will continue its non-region schedule with a home game against Callaway today, with first pitch set for 5:30 p.m.

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