Troup all-stars chasing state title

Published 2:27 pm Friday, July 6, 2018

By kevin eckleberry

Daily News

They’re ready for another road trip.

Two weeks ago, the Troup County National 11-12-year-old all-stars went to Schley County and won a district championship.

Today, Troup National will be in Swainsboro for the start of the Dixie Youth Baseball state tournament.

The winner of the eight-team state tournament will qualify for the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in Lumberton, N.C.

The eight teams will be divided into two four-team pools, and each team will play a total of three games today and Saturday.

The top two teams from each pool advance to the double-elimination portion of the tournament next weekend.

Troup is joined in its pool by Wrens, Thomaston and Irwin County, and Seminole County, Swainsboro, West Augusta and Schley County are in the other pool.

Troup’s first pool game is against Irwin County today at 8 p.m.

Troup plays twice on Saturday, first against Wrens at 9 a.m., and then against Thomaston at 6:30 p.m.

On Thursday afternoon, the Troup National players and coaches were on one of the fields at the Harris Baseball Complex for one final practice in preparation for state play.

Troup National head coach Curt Longshore, who led a team to the World Series a year ago, hopes the players enjoy the experience.

“Not everybody gets to go to a state tournament, so we try to make the experience enjoyable,” Longshore said.

In the district tournament, Troup National delivered a dominant performance, although there was one close game.

In a winner’s bracket game, Troup National outlasted Schley County 10-7, with Garrett Huckleberry hitting a home run.

In its other games in the district tournament, Troup National beat Manchester 5-0, Thomaston 16-1, and Schley County 9-2 in the championship game.

“Our MO hasn’t changed,” Longshore said. “We want to go out and put the ball in play. That was big the first time against Schley County. We only had two guys strike out. We put a lot of balls in play. We did our job. We hustled out of the box.”