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LaGrange, Troup playing for position

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

It’s decision time.

The LaGrange and Troup baseball teams are both in great position to secure one of Region 5-AAAA’s four playoff spots.

Where those two teams will finish in the region, though, is still very much up for grabs.

The Troup Tigers are in first place in the region with a 6-1 record, and their goal is to remain right where they are with five region games remaining.

The LaGrange Grangers are in fourth place in the region with a 5-3 record, and they’re looking to climb the ladder with four region games to play.

Adding to the intrigue, LaGrange and Troup close region play with a pair of games against each other.

Cartersville is also 6-1 in the region, but Troup owns the tie-breaker advantage between those two teams.

So if the Tigers continue to win, they’ll secure the region’s number one seed for the state playoffs.

“We have some tough games to play, but they know,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said. “It’s been clearly explained. It’s in our hands. So we can attack each game like it’s your last, and finish it off, or we can slip once and we may be sitting in second or third place.”

The Tigers (9-12) have an overall losing record, but they played an extremely challenging non-region schedule.

Those games, including one against an IMG Academy team that was ranked first in the country at the time, had Troup prepared for anything it would encounter in region play.

“We played a tough non-region schedule, so we got prepared for games like Cartersville,” said Colby Williams, who pitched a five-inning shutout in Thursday’s 8-0 win over Sandy Creek. “We get to Cartersville, and that’s not the best team we’ve played all year.

“We played IMG Academy, and other teams like that. We got ourselves prepared. Nobody else probably knew it, but we knew when we got to region we’d take off.”

LaGrange started region play with two losses to Cartersville, but it won five in a row before losing to Cedartown in extra innings last week.

Despite that setback, the Grangers are in prime position to secure a playoff spot, and they still have a chance to finish second or higher and earn a home series in the state playoffs.

“Our best baseball is ahead of us,” LaGrange head coach Donnie Branch said. “I’m 100 percent certain.”

NEXT WEEK’S GAMES

MONDAY

Troup at Sandy Creek, 5:55 p.m.

WEDNESDAY

Cedartown at Troup, 5:55 p.m.

LaGrange at Central-Carroll, 5:55 p.m.

FRIDAY

Central-Carroll at LaGrange, 5:55 p.m.

Troup at Cedartown High, 5:55 p.m.