Troup all-stars a step closer to title
Published 1:11 am Saturday, July 21, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
MANCHESTER – With Demetrius “Meat” Hardnett delivering an over-powering relief performance, the Troup American all-stars moved a step closer to a state championship with a dramatic 7-6 win over Wrens on Friday night.
Troup American was clinging to a one-run lead when Wrens came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Hardnett, who has been a dominant pitcher throughout the all-star season, was on the mound for Troup American.
Wrens had no shot.
Hardnett struck out all three batters he faced in the inning to preserve the one-run win and move Troup American within two wins of the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year-old state title.
Troup American will play Swainsboro at 10 a.m. today, and if it wins that game, it will play for the state title on Sunday at 1 p.m.
If Troup loses this morning, it would play again at 1 p.m. today with a berth in the title game on the line.
Wrens and Perry will play at 10 a.m. today in an elimination game.
Wrens started quickly in Friday’s game, surging to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the damage could have been worse if not for some nice damage control by Troup pitcher Jeremiah Staples.
With the bases loaded, Staples got a strikeout to keep the deficit at three.
It remained a 3-0 game until Troup exploded for seven runs in the top of the second to grab the lead.
Demetrius Hardnett, Jeremiah Staples and Jeremiah Dunn each walked to load the bases, and Jarred Coggin came through with a two-run single to put Troup on the board.
Slade Hunt kept it going with an RBI single, and Parker Townsend’s sacrifice fly gave Troup the lead.
Kaiden Russell followed with an RBI triple, and he then stole home to extend the lead to 6-3.
Leadoff hitter Chase Mosley legged out an infield single to drive in another run, and Troup led 7-3.
Troup didn’t score again, but the seven runs were just enough.
Wrens scored a single run in the third inning, and it added two more runs in the fifth to get within a run, but it was unable to pull even.
Jeremiah Staples started and pitched three innings, and he was the winning pitcher.
Staples was relieved by Slade Hunt, who threw a scoreless third inning, with shortstop Chase Mosley making a nice play on a hard-hit groundball for the third out with two men on.
In the fifth inning, Demetrius Hardnett entered the game with two runners on and no outs, and they both scored.
With the tying run on base, Hardnett got a groundout for the third and final out of the inning, and Troup was still ahead.
Troup couldn’t add any insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth, but thanks to Hardnett, the one-run lead was enough.
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