Troup uses home runs to beat LaGrange
Published 11:29 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Troup Tigers used the long ball and another strong outing from Colby Williams to dispatch the rival LaGrange Grangers for the second time this season.
Williams, who pitched a complete-game shutout in an earlier win over LaGrange, worked six innings on Tuesday afternoon to lead his team to a 10-2 road victory in the Region 5-AAAA matchup.
Williams also got it done at the plate with one of Troup’s three home runs, and Ryan Bliss and Garrett Casey went deep as well.
The end result was another region win for Troup, which is fighting it out with Cartersville for first place.
Troup (18-6 overall) improved to 8-1 in the region and remained one game behind Cartersville, and LaGrange fell to 5-3 in the region and stayed in third place.
Troup has three region games left, including a showdown with Cartersville next week, and LaGrange has three region games to go.
In Tuesday’s game, LaGrange was within a run when Cole Freeman came through with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning to trim Troup’s lead to 3-2.
The Tigers responded in fine fashion.
Williams had a leadoff home run in the top of the sixth inning, and Casey launched a three-run shot in the seventh inning and Troup scored the game’s final seven runs.
“If they get a run, we’re going to answer with two,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said. “So that was a good job of coming back right there.”
Bliss, Williams and Casey each had a big day at the plate.
Bliss led off the game with a solo home run, and he added an RBI double in the seventh inning when Troup scored five runs to put it away.
Williams helped himself with the solo home run in the sixth inning, and he had an RBI double in the fifth inning.
Casey had two hits, including the three-run home run that broke it open in the seventh inning.
It was a milestone moment for Casey, who is in his first season at Troup.
“That’s my first home run in high school, ever,” Casey said.
With two men on, Casey got a pitch he could handle, and he didn’t let it go to waste.
“It was a fat pitch,” Casey said. “It was right down the middle. I wasn’t really expecting that, so I just wanted to take advantage of it.”
Cade Garner added a hit and a sacrifice fly for Troup, Caleb McCurry had a hit and two runs scored, and Cooper Doughman had an RBI, and he reached twice after getting hit by a pitch.
Luke Purnell walked and scored a run, and Brantly Robinson had a hit with two runs scored.
For LaGrange, Freeman had two hits and an RBI, Will Alford had two hits with an RBI, and Walton Lanier had a double and a run scored.
Pitching wise, while Williams wasn’t as dominant as he was in the earlier 9-0 win over LaGrange, he delivered another solid start.
Williams gave up five hits and two runs, and he had eight strikeouts.
“He does what he does,” Garner said. “He competes more than anybody.”
Bliss finished LaGrange off with a perfect seventh inning, and he only needed 10 pitches to get three outs.
John Morgan started for LaGrange and pitched four innings, and Charles Crawford worked 2 2/3 innings before Ben Stogner got the final out.
Troup got to work early.
Bliss, after fouling off a handful of two-strike pitches, drove the ball over the left-field fence for a solo home run.
McCurry followed with a double, and he later scored on a Doughman sacrifice fly.
The Grangers got one of those back in their half of the first inning.
Freeman reached on a one-out single, and he scored on an Alford base hit to cut Troup’s lead to 2-1.
The Tigers added to their lead with a run in the third inning.
With two outs, McCurry reached on an error, and he scored on a Williams double.
The Grangers got one of those runs back in the bottom of the fifth.
Lanier doubled with one out, and he scored on Freeman’s base hit, and Troup’s lead was 3-2.
The Tigers came right back with two runs in the top of the sixth.
Williams drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence for a solo home run, and after Doughman was hit by a pitch and Casey singled, Kenly Bridwell got a sacrifice bunt down before Garner’s flyball brought in Robinson with the inning’s second run.
Williams set LaGrange down in order in the bottom of the sixth, and Troup went back to work in the top of the seventh.
Purnell led off with a walk, and Robinson’s bunt single put two men on for Bliss, who knocked in a run with a double.
After Robinson scored on a wild pitch, Casey’s three-run shot to left field capped the scoring.
Troup will step out of region with a road game against Auburn on Thursday before hosting Central-Carroll on Friday.
Troup will visit Central-Carroll on Thursday before hosting Cartersville on Friday.
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