Troup stays hot with home win
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It was another impressive performance by the red-hot Troup Tigers, who improved to 13-2 with a 5-0 home win over Heard County in a matchup of teams ranked in the top 10.
Three pitchers combined for the two-hit shutout, and Reed Morris and Ethan Morton each had RBI hits during a three-run third inning.
“The pitching was good, the defense was pretty good, and as long as you can do those things, you’re going to have a chance,” said Troup head coach Tanner Glisson.
Heard County is a quality team ranked in the top-10 in Class AA, so it was a legitimate test for Troup.
“They’re a very well-coached team, and that’s why we wanted to play them,” Glisson said. “They’re nearby, and they have good players.”
Brett Haynes and Daniel Martin each pitched three innings without allowing a hit, and Ethan Morton worked around two singles in the seventh inning to finish off the shutout.
Troup’s pitchers only needed 84 pitches to make it through seven innings, and they combined for eight strikeouts and no walks. The pitchers worked quickly and threw strikes, making sure the players in the field were always on their toes.
“It keeps the tempo going. You get a guy throwing a bunch of balls, you get a little distracted,” said center fielder Hunter Kitchens. “When they’re throwing strikes, and you’re having one, two three innings, the tempo gets going, and you stay focused.”
Haynes got the start, and he pitched three innings and didn’t give up any hits while striking out four batters.
Next to the mound was Martin, and he was dominant as well, throwing three perfect innings with four strikeouts.
Heard County broke up the no-hit bid in the seventh inning, but Morton kept the shutout intact.
“We played really well and made big plays when we needed to, and we did whatever we needed to do to get the batters out,” Kitchens said.
Morton led the offensive attack with two hits and two RBIs, Morris had an RBI single, Josh McDonald and Tre Mosley each had two hits, and Devon Murphy had a triple that jump-started the third-inning rally.
Troup also got it done on the base paths, with Mosley and Dwartney Wortham each stealing home during a two-run fifth inning.
Troup, after coming up empty against Heard County pitcher Drew Cornelius through two innings, broke through in the bottom of the third.
Cornelius struck out the first two batters in the inning before Murphy got things going with a triple, and Morris followed with an RBI single to give the Tigers the lead.
After McDonald kept the inning alive with a base hit, Mosley reached on an infield single to load the bases.
Next up was Morton, and his base hit up the middle drove in two runs, and Troup led 3-0.
In the fifth inning, the Tigers showed off their base-running prowess to pad their lead.
McDonald reached on a base hit with one out, and Wortham entered the game as a pinch-runner, and he immediately stole second base.
Wortham and Mosley, who reached on a one-out single, both stole home in the inning to give Troup a 5-0 lead, and that was it for the scoring.
Troup will play at Trinity Christian on Tuesday, weather-permitting, before continuing it region schedule with a game at Columbus on Friday.