Troup all-star team hopes for winning summer
Published 2:35 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Last summer, Curt Longshore guided an all-star team all the way to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.
Longshore is hoping history repeats itself this summer.
Longshore is the head coach for the Troup County 11-12-year-old all-star team that begins play in the district tournament today in Schley County.
After the district tournament comes the state tournament in Swainsboro, with the winner advancing to the World Series in Lumberton, N.C.
Four of the players, Blake Sheppard, Steven Hill, Jimmie Jackson and Gryson Cockrell, were on last year’s team that made it to the World Series.
“I don’t think there’s a drop-off in talent at all,” Longshore said, comparing the two teams. “The biggest thing is, it’s pretty much a new group, with three first-time all-stars.”
Longshore added that “it’s just getting them to gel together, and buy into our way of doing things, and our philosophies.”
The team has played two practice games in preparation for the district tournament.
“We’ve had two scrimmages,” Longshore said. “We were tested a little bit the first go-around, and the second time things kind of clicked.”
Longshore believes a strength of the team will be the pitching staff that has plenty of talented arms.
“We’re a little better of pitching than we were last year,” Longshore said. “We’re deeper pitching-wise.”
Joining Troup County in the district tournament are Manchester, Taylor County, Schley County and Thomaston.
The tournament could finish on Sunday, although it could extend into Monday if necessary.
First up for Troup will be today’s game against Manchester at 6 p.m.
If Troup beat Manchester, it will play Thomaston on Friday at 6 p.m.
Thomaston has a first-round bye.
If Troup loses its opener, it would play an elimination game on Friday at 8 p.m. against either Taylor County or Schley County.