Troup teams play a thriller
Published 2:29 pm Monday, June 25, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
THOMASTON – It wasn’t looking good for Troup National.
By the time the top of the second inning ended, Troup National was trailing Troup American 9-1 in a winner’s bracket game in the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old district tournament in Thomaston on Saturday.
Troup National head coach Chad Marchman made sure to let his players know there was a long way to go, though.
“That’s what I told them,” Marchman said. “Let’s play six innings, and keep digging, and we’ll get a little bit at a time.”
Troup National fought back, but it still trailed by three runs heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Troup National was down to its final out when Luke Vael tied it with a clutch two-run single to force extra innings.
In the bottom of the seventh, Parker Marchman came through with the game-winning hit to lift Troup National to the dramatic 12-11 victory.
Troup National improved to 2-0 in the tournament, while Troup American fell to 1-1.
Both teams will be back in action on Friday as the double-elimination district tournament continues in Thomaston.
In Friday’s opening-round games, both Troup County teams were winning big when the action was suspended because of the weather.
Those games were completed on Saturday morning, with Troup National beating Manchester, and Troup American taking care of Lamar County.
After a quick break, the Troup County teams were back on the field for the local showdown.
Troup American had things going early with two runs in the second inning and seven more in the second to seize an eight-run lead, but Troup National came surging back for the win.
“We had some really good clutch hitting to come back in that game,” Marchman said.
Luke Vael had one of those clutch hits in the bottom of the sixth with the game on the line.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Vael got a pitch he could handle, and he drove the ball into center field for a base hit, and two runs came into score.
Troup American;s Chase Mosley got a strikeout for the third out of the sixth inning to keep it a tie game and force extra innings.
Caden Wood, who did an outstanding job in relief, pitched a perfect top of the seventh, and Troup National came to bat in the bottom of the inning with a chance to win it.
Mason Calhoun led off with a walk, Chandler Glisson reached on a base hit, and Wood walked to load the bases.
It looked like Troup American was perhaps going to dodge a bullet when it turned a double play without a run scoring.
Second baseman Slade Hunt caught a line drive, and he stepped on the bag for a double play.
That brought Parker Marchman to the plate with men on first and third with two outs.
On a 1-2 pitch, Marchman knocked the ball into right field, and Calhoun came home with the winning run, and Troup National celebrated a big win.
While happy to see his team prevail, Marchman said it’s tough playing against another local team.
“You’re playing your buddies, you’re playing your friends,” Marchman said. “I’m playing against people I do work for. We’re friends with all of them. You just do what you can.”
Troup American made Troup National work for it.
Troup American grabbed the lead with two runs in the top of the first.
Chase Mosley led off with a bunt single, and he scored on an RBI double by Jake Perry.
After a Demetrius Hardnett base hit, Jeremiah Staples delivered an RBI single to make it a 2-0 game.
Troup National answered with a run in its half of the first inning.
Mason Calhoun led off with a walk, and he scored on a Gray Hester base hit.
In the top of the second, Troup American sent 11 men to the plate on the way to the seven-run outburst.
Wesley Williams and Slade Hunt got things started with back-to-back singles, and they scored on an error and a wild pitch, respectively.
With two outs, Kaiden Russell and Chase Mosley reached on errors, and Shai McCarroll followed with a two-run single.
Jake Perry’s RBI single made it an 8-1 game, and he scored on a wild pitch to cap the seven-run inning.
Troup National got three of those runs back in the second inning.
Luke Taylor singled, Kaleb Woodson was hit by a pitch, Chase Hansford walked, and all three men came around to score on wild pitches, and it was a 9-4 game.
Troup National got close with three runs in the third inning to cut Troup American’s lead to 9-7.
Mason Calhoun walked, Chandler Glisson singled, and Gray Hester walked, and Glisson and Hester both scored on wild pitches. Another run scored when Parker Marchman reached on an error, and Troup National was within two.
Troup American got an insurance run in the top of the fourth inning, with Jeremiah Dunn walking and later scoring on an error.
Troup National was held scoreless in the bottom of the fourth, and Troup American tacked on another run in the top of the fifth.
Jake Perry singled and Demetrius Hardnett walked, and Jeremiah Staples delivered an RBI single, and Troup American led 11-7.
Troup National plated one run in the fifth inning.
After Mason Calhoun singled, he scored on Caden Wood’s double, and Troup American’s lead was 11-8.
Thanks in part to a terrific diving catch by Troup National center fielder Luke Vael, Troup American didn’t score in the top of the sixth, so it remained a three-run game.
Needing three runs to tie it, Troup National started the bottom of the sixth inning with a double by Parker Marchman and a single by Luke Taylor.
After the next two batters were set down, Troup National was down to its final out.
Brady Willis walk to load the bases, and Troup National was still alive.
Wesley Williams followed with a walk of his own, and Troup National was within two, and the bases were still loaded.
After a pitching change, Luke Vael came through with his game-saving two-run single, and the score was deadlocked.
It was on to extra innings, and Troup National completed the comeback on Parker Marchman’s walk-off base hit.
Mason Calhoun started for Troup National, and he threw the first three innings.
Caden Wood entered the game in the fourth inning, and he went the rest of the way to get the win.
Demetrius Hardnett, Jake Perry, Jeremiah Staples and Chase Mosely all pitched for Troup American.
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