Troup all-stars take first step
Published 9:53 pm Friday, July 13, 2018
By kevin eckleberry
MANCHESTER – Jeremiah Staples and Slade Hunt combined for a no-hitter, and Demetrius Hardnett highlighted the offensive effort with an inside-the-park home run as Troup American cruised to a 10-0 victory over Baldwin County in the opening game of the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old state tournament on Friday.
It was the first of three games in pool play for Troup American, which reached this point by winning the district tournament.
Troup American will play twice today, first against Irwin County at 9 a.m., and then against Columbia County at 4 p.m.
If Troup American wins its pool, it will advance to the double-elimination portion of the tournament next weekend.
The other two pool winners will also advance to next weekend, as will one at-large team.
In Friday’s game, Baldwin County had no answer for Troup’s pitchers.
Jeremiah Staples got the start, and he pitched into the third inning before leaving the mound after giving up a leadoff walk.
Slade Hunt retired all three batters he faced in the top of the third, and he ended up throwing two scoreless and hitless innings to finish things off.
The game ended after the top of the fourth inning because of the 10-run rule.
After Staples set Baldwin down in the top of the first, Troup’s offense went to work in the bottom of the inning with four runs.
The first two Troup batters were retired, but Jake Perry reached on a base hit to jump-start the rally.
Demetrius Hardnett was hit by a pitch to put two men on, and Jeremiah Staples followed with an RBI double to plate the game’s first run.
Wesley Williams kept it going with an RBI single, and two more runs scored when Baldwin couldn’t make a play on Jeremiah Dunn’s hard-hit groundball.
Staples struck out the side and worked around a one-out walk in the top of the second, and Troup padded its lead with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Jarred Coggin led off with a walk and Parker Townsend’s double put men on second and third.
Coggin scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0, and after Kaiden Russell walked and Chase Mosley reached on a single, Shai McCarroll’s double plated two more runs.
Troup capped the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the third.
Demetrius Hardnett gave the Troup fans a thrill when he led off with his home run.
Hardnett drove the ball over the right fielder’s head and never slowed down, and he rumbled all the way home to put Troup on top 8-0.
Jeremiah Staples and Slade Hunt walked later in the inning, and they both scored on wild pitches.
Slade Hunt struck out all three batters he faced in the top of the fourth to finish it.
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