First place on the line for Troup
Published 12:47 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLBEBERRY
It’s a tall task.
If the Troup Tigers are going to repeat as Region 5-AAAA champions, they’ll not only have to beat Cartersville today, but they’ll likely need to do it in convincing fashion.
With two region games remaining, Cartersville is sitting in first place with a 10-0 record, while Troup is a game back at 9-1.
The two rivals have played once this season, and it was all Cartersville, which surged to a 5-0 win on Troup’s home field.
Cartersville will be the home team for today’s game, and if it wins, it will wrap up the region championship.
If Troup wins, it would move into a first-place tie heading into Thursday’s region finale against Sandy Creek.
Cartersville’s final region game is against Central-Carroll on Thursday.
If Troup and Cartersville end up splitting their two games and finish tied for first place, the region champion would be determined by run differential in the two head-to-head matchups.
Since Cartersville won by five runs earlier, Troup would need to win big today to have the edge in that tiebreaker.
The Tigers are well aware of the situation, and head coach Craig Garner said the players will be ready to give it their best shot.
“We’ll go up there guns a blazing, and throwing caution to the wind,” Garner said. “There’s nothing to lose.”
Garner said all of the pitchers will be available for today’s game, including aces Colby Williams, Garrett Casey and Ryan Bliss, who have all been lights out on the mound this season.
Last season, Troup beat Cartersville 1-0 and 2-1 on the way to a second consecutive region championship.
Cartersville got some revenge in March, with Anthony Siegler hitting a pair of home runs to lead his team to the 5-0 win.
The Tigers were limited to four hits, and Williams had two of them.
If Troup loses to Cartersville, it will finish second in the region.
Whether Troup finishes first or second, it will be at home for the opening round of the state playoffs.
After Thursday’s road game at Sandy Creek, Troup finishes the regular season with a home doubleheader against East Coweta and Newnan on Friday.
Also this week, LaGrange will finish the regular season with a pair of Region 5-AAAA games.
LaGrange visits Sandy Creek today and hosts Chapel Hill on Thursday.
At 6-4 in the region, LaGrange is locked into the third spot, and it will be on the road for the opening round of the state playoffs.
The Callaway Cavaliers won the Region 5-AA championship on Friday at Heard County, and they’ll finish the regular season with a road game against Jackson County on Thursday and a home game with Pike County on Friday.
LaGrange Academy visits Brandon Hall on Tuesday and Springwood on Thursday before hosting Flint River on Friday.
Lafayette Christian has one game this week, and it’s at Arlington Christian on Friday.
Troup at Cartersville, 5:30 pm
LaGrange at Sandy Creek, 5:55 p.m.
LaGrange Academy at Brandon Hall, 2 p.m.
Chapel Hill at LaGrange, 5:30 p.m.
Sandy Creek at Troup, 5:55 p.m.
Callaway at Jackson County, 5:55 p.m.
LaGrange Academy at Springwood, 4 p.m.
Pike County at Callaway, 5:30 p.m.
Flint River at LaGrange Academy, 5 p.m.
East Coweta at Troup, 5 p.m.
Newnan at Troup, 7 p.m.
Lafayette Christian at Arlington Christian, 4:30