Troup rolls to district title

Published 11:18 am Tuesday, June 26, 2018


Daily News

ELLAVILLE – They made the trip to Schley County for four consecutive days to compete in the Dixie Youth Baseball 11-12-year-old district tournament.

The Troup County National all-stars had no desire to return to Ellaville for a fifth straight day.

Troup County came into Sunday’s game against Schley County needing a victory to complete a perfect stay in the tournament and win the championship.

Had Troup County lost on Sunday, it would have set up a winner-take-all game on Monday against Schley County in the double-elimination tournament.

Fortunately for Troup County, that game wasn’t necessary.

Troup County surged to a big early lead in Sunday’s game, and it cruised to a 9-2 victory to sew up the district title.

Next up for Troup County will be the state tournament in Swainsboro, with the winner advancing to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.

Troup County also beat Schley County 10-7 on Saturday, and that was a critical win.

That loss meant Schley County would have to come back and win a game on Sunday to make it to the championship round against Troup County.

Troup County’s players, meanwhile, were able to sit back and relax on a scorching Sunday afternoon while Schley County played a tough game.

“Getting the win (Saturday), and having all day to rest, and knowing they had to play before us, that was big,” Troup head coach Curt Longshore said. “They had to play (Sunday), then they had to go out and warm up again, and we just wanted our guys to relax, and just kind of enjoy the moment.”

Troup County made sure its game on Sunday lacked any suspense.

Troup County surged to a 3-0 lead after the first inning, and it was ahead 8-0 by the time the second inning came to a close.

Troup County was up 9-0 before Schley County scored its only two runs in the fifth inning.

“This is probably the toughest district I’ve ever been involved in,” Longshore said. “Schley County, they’re a good ballclub. I’m super proud of the guys. You could tell from start to finish we really gelled together as a team.”

Troup County finished in style with a dominant performance.

Steven Hill got the start and pitched three scoreless innings, and Garrett Huckleberry worked the fourth and fifth innings.

Bryce Hubbard finished things off with a scoreless sixth inning.

Troup did all of its scoring in the first three innings.

In the top of the first, Jimmie Jackson reached on an error and Blake Sheppard singled, and Steven Hill followed with an RBI double.

Bryce Hubbard added an RBI single, and Troup County led 2-0.

Troup County scored six more runs in the second inning, despite getting just one hit.

Troup County took advantage of two errors, two hit batters, and three walks to put a big inning together.

Trevor Hansford was hit by a pitch, Garrett Huckleberry walked, and Blake Sheppard reached on an error to load the bases.

Gryson Cockrell’s fly-ball was misplayed, allowing the inning’s first run to score.

With the bags still full, Jimmie Jackson walked, Blake Sheppard was hit by a pitch, and Steven Hill walked to bring in three more runs.

Bryce Hubbard’s RBI single capped the big inning, and Troup County led 8-0.

After Steven Hill shut Schley County down in order in the bottom of the second, Troup County added another run in the top of the third on an RBI single by Landon Merna.

Schley County threatened in the bottom of the third when it put men on second and third with no outs, but Steven Hill notched three consecutive strikeouts to keep the lead at 9-0.

Troup County had men on base in each of its final four at-bats, but it was unable to score any more runs.

Here’s a look at Troup County’s other tournament games:


Garrett Huckleberry’s home run helped lead Troup County to the win over Schley County on Saturday in a winner’s bracket showdown.

Hitting in the last spot in the lineup, Huckleberry had a two-run home run in the fifth inning to help Troup outlast Schley County.

“We had a huge home run from Garrett Huckleberry,” Longshore said. “It was an 0-2 count.”

Cooper Stephens and Trevor Hansford each had two hits for Troup County, and Gryson Cockrell, Jimmie Jackson, Steven Hill, Bryce Hubbard, Rob Skinner, Parker Shattuck and Kaden Carlisle each had hits.

Blake Sheppard was the starting and winning pitcher.



Troup County needed four innings to beat Thomaston in Friday’s game.

Troup County scored two runs in the first inning, sixth in the second, and four runs in each of the third and fourth innings.

Rob Skinner had a big game for Troup County with three hits, including two doubles and a triple.

Gryson Cockrell, Blake Sheppard and Bryce Hubbard each had three hits for Troup County, and they all had doubles.

Steven Hill and Garrett Huckleberry each had two hits with a triple, Parker Shattuck had a triple, and Cooper Stephens and Trevor Hansford each had a double.

Kaden Carlisle and Landon Merna each had a base hit.

Bryce Hubbard was the starting and winning pitcher.



Manchester managed just one hit in a loss to Troup County on Thursday in the tournament opener.

Steven Hill started and pitched five superb innings, and Blake Sheppard threw the sixth inning to complete the shutout.

Manchester’s lone hit was a base hit in the fourth inning.

Troup County scored four of its runs in the third inning, with Gryson Cockrell, Steven Hill and Blake Sheppard coming through with consecutive doubles.

Gryson Cockrell did his job from the leadoff position with two hits and a walk, and Steven Hill had two hits.

Jimmie Jackson had a double, Kaden Carlisle had a hit, and Cooper Stephens reached twice on walks.

The players are Jimmie Jackson, Parker Shattuck, Cooper Stephens, Trevor Hansford, Rob Skinner, Bryce Hubbard, Garrett Huckleberry, Landon Merna, Blake Sheppard, Gryson Cockrell, Kaden Carlisle and Steven Hill. Curt Longshore is the head coach, and the other coaches are Jeffery Tucker, Glenn Jackson and Corey Sheppard.

OF NOTE: For more photos, check out