Troup ready for region

Published 11:34 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019


Daily News

The final tune-up is in the bag, and now it’s time to play for keeps.

The Troup Tigers wrapped up a challenging non-region schedule with a 3-2 loss to visiting Woodward Academy on Thursday.

Troup (3-9), which has won outright or shared three consecutive region championships, opens its Region 5-AAAA schedule on Tuesday at Central-Carroll.

Troup will play 12 region games, and it needs to finish fourth or higher to qualify for the state playoffs.

While the Tigers have struggled to string wins together, head coach Craig Garner believes the formidable teams they’ve faced have them ready for region play.

Four of Troup’s games came in the Perfect Game Showcase in Hoover, Ala. that featured some of the country’s top teams.

One of Troup’s opponents was IMG Academy, which is the top-ranked team in the USA Today prep poll.

In its tournament opener, a trio of Troup pitchers held IMG Academy to three hits in a 2-0 loss.

IMG Academy went on to claim the tournament title.

I told the guys we’re fixing to go into the second phase of our season,” Garner said. “We’ve done everything we could to prepare them.

“We’re not going to face anybody in the region, except for one team (Cartersville), that’s comparable to have the teams we just played.”

In Thursday’s game, the Tigers made things interesting late.

Trailing 3-0, Troup scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and had the tying run at the plate, but Woodward pitcher Will Sanders got a groundout to finish things off.

Sanders went the distance, holding Troup to three hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

The seventh-inning rally began when Cooper Doughman ripped the ball into left field for a base hit on an 0-2 pitch.

Colby Williams then walked on a 3-2 pitch, and Troup had the tying run at the plate.

Following a double steal, Caleb McCurry’s groundout scored pinch-runner Hunter Kitchens with Troup’s first run.

Colton Webb followed with an RBI single, cutting Woodward Academy’s lead to one and putting the tying run on base before Sanders got out of the jam.

Doughman had two of Troup’s three hits.

Carson Garner was Troup’s starting pitcher, and he went four innings and gave up two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out four.

Daniel Martin held Woodward Academy to an unearned run on two hits in his two innings, and Williams threw a perfect top of the seventh.