Troup players earn all-state honors

Published 2:52 pm Thursday, June 8, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – There is no sure thing, not when it comes to the unpredictable world of competitive sports.

Troup’s Colby Williams was pretty close to it, though.

Williams was lights out every time he went to the pitcher’s mound during what was a remarkable sophomore season.

Williams’ only loss of the season came against Hardaway in the second round of the state playoffs, and he didn’t allow an earned run in that 4-1 setback.

Williams, who didn’t give up more than two earned runs in a game last season, has been selected as a first-team member of the Georgia Dugout Preview Magazine’s all-state team.

Another dynamic player for Troup, shortstop Ryan Bliss, is a second-team all-state player.

Williams and Bliss were the top players for a Troup team that won a second consecutive region championship and reached the second round of the state playoffs before falling to Hardaway.

Coming into the season, Troup head coach Craig Garner was counting on Williams to be the staff ace following the departure of the top three pitchers from last year’s team.

Williams delivered.

He was on the mound for nearly every game during the season, and he never had a bad day.

In the all-important region games, Williams had four starts.

Troup won all four of those games, and Williams was 3-0.

In his three region wins, Williams pitched two complete games against LaGrange, and one against Cartersville.

“He competes,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said after Williams went the distance in a 3-1 win over LaGrange. “He’s a bulldog out there. He doesn’t want you to take the ball out of his hands.”

After a playoff game against West Hall, where Williams didn’t pitch but still played a key role in the win, he described his baseball mentality in a fighter’s terms.

“No matter what happens, you fight,” Williams said. “If your teeth get knocked out, you pick them up and put them back in later. You do whatever you’ve got to do to get a win, whether it’s 1-0, or 10-0.”

In the playoffs, Williams came through with a masterful performance against West Hall in a first-round game.

The Tigers only managed one run, but that was enough thanks to Williams, who pitched a three-hit shutout in the 1-0 victory.

That game came on the heels of a four-hit shutout against East Coweta in the regular-season finale.

Against Hardaway, Williams was the tough-luck loser in Game 1, but that wasn’t his final outing of the season.

In the final game of that series, Williams pitched in relief, and he worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top