Troup’s Williams stands tall
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Troup High’s Colby Williams has proven again and again over the years that he has the talent, and the mental fortitude, to stand tall when the challenge is the greatest.
Williams was up to the task once again on Saturday.
Facing a St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) team that is nationally-ranked, Williams threw four shutout innings in Troup’s 9-6 loss.
When Williams left the game, St. Thomas scored five unearned runs in the fifth inning, and it added two more runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings.
Troup rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh and had the tying run at the plate when the game ended with a double play.
Since Troup has two key region games against Cartersville this week, Williams was limited to four innings on Saturday.
Troup hosts Wednesday’s game before visiting Cartersville on Friday.
“He thrives on that. he has that competitive fire in games like that,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said. “Obviously he didn’t want to come out, but like I told him, I appreciate that, but we’ve got bigger fish to fry with our region games.”
Williams, who has signed with Kennesaw State, was dominant during his four-inning stint.
Williams held St. Thomas Aquinas to two hits, and he struck out five batters.
St. Thomas threatened during two of the first four innings.
In the top of the second, St. Thomas had the bases loaded when Williams got a strikeout on three pitches to end that threat.
In the fourth inning, St. Thomas had two men on when Williams got a fly-out for the third out.
When Williams left the game, the Tigers had a 3-0 lead, but things came unglued in the top of the fifth.
Three errors and three walks contributed to a five-run inning for St. Thomas Aquinas, and freshman pitcher Daniel Martin had the misfortune to be on the mound when all that happened.
“I hated the fact that mistakes were made when we had a freshman in there,” Garner said. “You’re pitching your tail off, and these things happen sometimes. But also understand that you get scared to throw it over the white, because if they hit it, we’re not making plays behind you. You feel like you’re trying to be perfect.”
A talented team like St. Thomas Aquinas, more often than not, will turn errors by the opposing team into runs.
“That’s the great thing about those games is re-emphasizes and points out the obvious that we stress daily is the fact that yeah, better teams are going to take advantage of every mistake you make,” Garner said.
St. Thomas Aquinas had a 9-3 lead when Troup came to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Grayson Garner began things with a double, and Carson Garner followed with a base hit to put men on first and third.
Next up was Caleb McCurry, and his RBI single cut the St. Thomas lead to 9-4.
After Trace Meadows was hit by a pitch, Cooper Doughman’s RBI double made it a 9-5 game, and Ethan Morton drove in another run with a single to get Troup within three.
With men on first and third, St. Thomas turned a double play to end the suspense.
Troup scored one run in the first inning, and two more in the bottom of the fourth.
In the bottom of the first, McCurry led off with a single and advanced on a Meadows sacrifice bunt, and McCurry scored when Williams reached on an error.
The Tigers tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning to build a 3-0 lead.
Williams got things started with a base hit, and Webb reached on an error.
Two batters later, Luke Purnell’s double plated a run, and Grayson Garner got down a perfect squeeze bunt to bring in Webb.
McCurry and Grayson Garner each had two hits for Troup, and Doughman, Williams, Morton, Purnell and Carson Garner had one hit apiece.
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