Troup chasing state title
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
After an inspiring run through the district tournament, the Troup National 9-10-year-old all-stars will look to keep the good times going this weekend.
Troup is one of eight teams participating in the Dixie Youth Baseball division one state tournament in Cochran.
Those teams will be divided into two four-team pools, and the top-two teams from each pool will advance to the double-elimination portion of the tournament the following weekend.
The winner of the state tournament advances to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series in Louisiana.
Troup National plays two games on Friday, and one game on Saturay in pool play.
Troup National earned its spot at state by winning the district tournament in Thomaston.
After losing to Thomaston to fall to 1-1 in the district tournament, Troup won its next three games to capture the title.
Troup’s final two wins came against the same Thomaston team it lost to earlier in the tournament.
“We told them to take it one step at a time,” Troup head coach Jason Willis said. “We had a little practice on Sunday (the day after the loss to Thomaston) and came together, and did exactly what we asked them to do. They took it each step and played one game at a time.”
Willis added that “it’s a great group of kids. They just kept battling. That’s what we’ve got to do. We’re not going to be the most talented team, but we’re going to have that bulldog mentality.”
That bulldog mentality was on display in the district tournament when Troup shrugged off the loss to Thomaston to secure the district championship.
In the final game, Troup scored six runs in the second inning on the way to an 8-2 victory over Thomaston.
In its final three tournament games, Troup outscored its opponents 33-3.
“Some of these kids that hadn’t played as much ball have really improved,” Willis said. “It’s amazing to watch.”
Now, those players will get to represent Troup County in the state tournament and possibly play their way into the World Series.
“This is fun, because there’s something on the line,” Willis said. “That’s why you play (recreation baseball).”
Chase Mosley, Kaleb Woodson, Brady Willis, Brody Swanson, Torreion Delaney, Cason Spears, Nolan Haines, Kaiden Russell, EJ Facille, Blake Miller, Cass Fuller and Woods Carter.
Jason Willis is the head coach, and the assistants are Charles Mosley, Bill Bush, Jerry Willis and Hilton Swanson.