Tigers had it all working
Published 11:29 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They had it all working.
The Troup Tigers delivered a complete performance in Wednesday’s 8-0 home win over the Central-Carroll Lions.
The pitching was there, with Jackson Knox and Cade Garner combining for a five-hit shutout, and they were backed up by a defense that was outstanding.
The Tigers enjoyed a big day at the plate as well with 13 hits, with Cooper Doughman leading the way with four hits, including a solo home run.
Troup, which beat Central-Carroll 9-5 on Monday, improved to 2-0 in Region 5-AAAA.
“It was the most complete game we’ve played yet,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said.
Knox, a senior who has become a critical part of the rotation, overcame a shaky start to throw five superb innings.
The Lions loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first inning, but Knox got a pop-out and two strikeouts to escape with no runs scoring.
Knox was lights out after that, holding the Lions to two hits between the second and fifth innings.
Knox has had some first-inning difficulties this season, but he his pattern has been to settle down after that and come through with a stellar outing.
“The trend has been true for the year,” Garner said. “The first inning has been one of the toughest innings he’s had except for one outing.”
After surrendering two hits and a walk, though, Knox knuckled down and kept the Lions off the scoreboard.
“The first inning was crucial,” Garner said. “Bases loaded and nobody out, and to get yourself out of it, that said a lot about him.”
Doughman, Troup’s catcher, said Knox might not also know precisely where the ball is going, but he gets the job done.
“I don’t know where it’s going, he doesn’t know where it’s going, but he does a great job of keeping it around the plate for the most part,” Doughman said. “The ball moves so much.”
Cade Garner pitched the final two innings, and he held the Lions to one hit and was helped by a double play to end the top of the sixth.
The offense was led by Doughman, who had his way with Central-Carroll’s pitchers.
Doughman had two doubles, as well as a home run in the third inning that gave Troup a 2-0 lead.
Cade Garner had three hits and two runs scored, Luke Purnell had a hit and three RBIs, Daniel Martin had an RBI double, Trace Meadows had a pair of hits, leadoff hitter Caleb McCurry had a hit and two runs scored, Colton Webb had a base hit, and Grayson Garner had a pair of sacrifice bunts.
Troup took the lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning.
Cade Garner got things started with a base hit, and he stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Grayson Garner.
Purnell hit the ball on the ground, and it was misplayed by the second baseman, and Cade Garner came home with the first run.
Troup doubled its lead with Doughman’s home run in the third inning, with the ball just clearing the left-field fence.
The Tigers kept it going in the fourth inning with five more runs.
Webb and Cade Garner got things started with back-to-back base hits, and Grayson Garner got down his second sacrifice bunt to put two men in scoring position.
Next up was Purnell, and he ripped the ball to right field for a two-run single, and Troup led 4-0.
Martin followed with an RBI double, and after McCurry reached on an error, Meadows knocked in another run with a base hit.
Doughman capped the rally when he drove the ball over the third-base bag for a two-run double, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Troup capped the scoring in the sixth inning.
After one-out singles by McCurry and Meadows, Doughman struck again with an RBI single to put the Tigers on top 8-0.
Troup will step out of the region for its next two games.
After visiting East Coweta today, Troup will host St. Thomas Aguinas (Fla.) on Saturday.