Williams sharp as Tigers earn shutout win
Published 1:54 pm Saturday, March 31, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was smooth sailing for Troup’s Colby Williams.
The Cedartown Bulldogs managed a couple of hits early in Friday’s game, but once Williams settled in and got rolling, they had no chance.
Dalton Bowman reached on a base hit leading off the second inning, but Williams retired the final 18 batters he faced to lead Troup to a 4-0 victory in the Region 5-AAAA game.
Troup (15-5 overall) improved to 7-1 in the region, and it remains in second place, one game behind Cartersville.
Williams was making his first start since March 16 when Troup beat LaGrange 9-0, although he has appeared in a handful of games since then out of the bullpen.
Williams pitched seven innings of shutout baseball in that game, and he duplicated that feat on Friday.
“I was fresh,” Williams said. “I was glad to get the start.”
Williams was efficient, needing just 73 pitches to make it through seven innings.
Williams held the Bulldogs to two hits, and he struck out eight and didn’t walk anyone.
Williams was backed up by some solid defense, with Troup playing an error-free game.
Williams said having a reliable defense is “everything.”
“I don’t have to go up there and try to strike every guy out,” Williams said. “It keeps my pitch count down. I throw strikes, and let my defense make plays.”
Troup had 11 hits, and seven of those hits came from the men toward the bottom of the lineup.
Luke Purnell, the number eight hitter, had two hits and two RBIs, and number nine hitter Ethan Morton also had two hits.
Kenly Bridwell, who hits in the number six spot in the order, had two hits with an RBI, and Williams had two hits.
Cooper Doughman had an RBI double, and Colton Webb had a base hit and a run scored.
The Tigers went to work early, plating a run in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Williams reached on an error, and Doughman followed with an RBI double to give Troup the lead.
The Tigers added another run in their half of the fourth inning.
With one out, Garner lined a ball down the left-field line for a double, and Purnell then got a hold of a two-strike pitch for a double of his own, and Troup led 2-0.
Troup capped the scoring with a pair of runs in the fifth inning.
Webb led off with a single, and Casey got down a sacrifice bunt before Bridwell came through with an RBI single, and Troup led 3-0.
Two batters later, Purnell drove the ball into the outfield for a base hit, and Bridwell scored all the way from first.
With two men on, Ryan Bliss drove the ball to center field, but it was caught just a few feet from the fence.
The Tigers threatened in the seventh, with Caleb McCurry reaching on an error and Williams doubling, but they were unable to plate any more runs.
It didn’t matter.
Williams set the Bulldogs down in order in the top of the seventh, and that was that.
Troup will play three games next week, all against non-region foes. Troup hosts Harris County on Wednesday, Shaw on Thursday, and Mount Paran on Friday.
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