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Special summer ends for Troup American

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

EATONTON – A special summer came to an end for the Troup American all-stars on Sunday.

Participating in the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old state tournament in Eatonton over the weekend, Troup American posted a 2-2 record.

There were three four-team pools, with the pool winners each securing a spot in this weekend’s state semifinals.

One semifinal spot was available to the top team that didn’t win its pool, and Troup American had a chance to be that team.

After finishing second in its pool with a 2-1 record, Troup American still had an opportunity to secure a spot in the final four with a win over Swainsboro on Sunday.

It was a competitive game, but Troup American lost 8-5 to finish fifth in the state.

Combined with its unbeaten showing in the district tournament, Troup American finished with a 7-2 record this summer.

The state tournament was supposed to begin on Friday night, but the games were washed away because of rain.

Troup American played two games on Saturday, and it won them both.

In Saturday’s opener against Columbia County, Troup American rallied for a dramatic win.

Trailing 11-8, Troup American scored four runs in the sixth and final inning to win it 12-11.

After walking, Luke Taylor scoring the tying run on a base hit by Brandon Bennett.

Bennett then scored the winning run on Noah Whaley’s base hit, giving Troup American the walk-off win.

Later on Saturday, Troup American edged Putnam County 5-3 to move to 2-0 in the tournament.

In Saturday’s second game, Troup American tasted defeat for the first time this summer when it lost to Baconton 7-3, and the season ended with the 8-5 loss to Swainsboro.

Troup head coach Rusty Taylor said he was an honored to be a part of the special group.

“I was very honored to coach this group of boys,” Taylor said. “This was a very coachable team with lots of talent. They found ways to win even when we were down. They never quit. I’m very proud of these kids and very appreciative of my other two coaches, Rob Vael and my son, Zach Taylor.”

TEAM MEMBERS: Landon Alsobrook, Rob Skinner, Cooper Stephens, Noah Whaley, Luke Taylor, Brandon Bennett, Tolan Bailey, Luke Vael, Kaden Carlisle, Hunter Garrett, Jackson Hester and Dalton Colquett. Rusty Taylor is the head coach, and the assistant coaches are Zach Taylor and Rob Vael.