Troup, LHS well-represented on all-region team
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Troup Tigers and LaGrange Grangers were the top baseball teams in Region 2-AAAA this season, so not surprisingly, they’re both well-represented on the all-region team that was announced on Friday.
Troup, which won the region title with a 12-0 record, leads the way with nine players on the all-region team, and Tanner Glisson was named coach of the year.
LaGrange, which was second in the region with a 9-3 record, has seven players on the all-region team, and Matthew Morgan was named the region’s player of the year.
It was a spectacularly successful season for Troup, which went 29-5, set a program records for win in a season, won a region title, and reached the third round of the state playoffs before losing to North Oconee.
A key to Troup’s success this season was the performance of its pitchers, who shut down opposing offenses all season.
Troup’s top pitcher was right-hander Brett Haynes, who had a fantastic season.
Haynes was on the mound for some of Troup’s biggest games this season, and he almost always delivered.
In a late-season 5-0 win over LaGrange that helped secure the region championship, Haynes threw six shutout innings while giving up just two hits, and he had six strikeouts.
In the second round of the playoffs against Perry, Haynes pitched a five-inning shutout in a 11-0 win, and he only gave up three hits while striking out five batters.
Haynes came up big once again in the third round against North Oconee.
Haynes pitched five shutout innings before running into trouble in the sixth inning, and North Oconee pulled away for a 5-1 win.
As he did every time he was on the mound, though, Haynes gave his team a chance to win.
The man Haynes threw pitches to, catcher Colton Webb, was a first-team all-region player.
Webb, a senior, was a superb defensive player who was also a key member of the lineup, and he was one of the team leaders.
One of Webb’s most memorable moments this season came in a 2-1 win over LaGrange when he came through with the go-ahead hit in the top of the seventh inning.
Also making the first team was senior second baseman Ethan Morton, who was a fantastic middle infielder and an effective hitter, and he also was successful when called upon to pitch.
First baseman Josh McDonald, one of Troup’s top hitters, was also a first-team player, as was third baseman Reed Morris.
Daniel Martin, an anchor of Troup’s pitching staff and a dependable defensive player at shortstop, earned a first-team selection, as did senior outfielder Trey Mosley.
Earning an honorable-mention selection was senior Hunter Kitchens, who anchored the outfield from his center field position.
Glisson, meanwhile, was selected as the region’s top coach.
Glisson, Troup’s head football coach since 2015, took over the baseball program before the 2021 season.
After a dramatic 2-1 win over LaGrange that all but wrapped up the region title, talked about his gratitude for the way the players embraced him.
“I appreciate them believing in me, when a lot of people didn’t coming from football, and not knowing if I knew baseball or not,” Glisson said. “I’m just really proud of the guys.”
It was also a terrific season for LaGrange (21-12), which finished second in the region and beat Jenkins in the first round of the playoffs before falling to West Laurens in a second-round series that went the full three games.
Leading the way for LaGrange was Matthew Morgan, who was not only the team’s number one pitcher, but also the biggest threat in the lineup and an effective shortstop.
One of the highlights of the season for Morgan came in a second-round playoff game against West Laurens when his sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh brought in the winning run in a 4-3 victory.
In a first-round playoff game against Jenkins, Morgan pitched six shutout innings in a 5-0 win, and he only gave up three hits while striking out 10 batters.
Although LaGrange lost to Troup 2-1 at home, Morgan was fantastic, pitching six innings while only allowing one hit.
In a 1-0 loss to Columbus, Morgan pitched 5 1/3 innings and didn’t allow an earned run.
Morgan has signed with the University of West Georgia.
Earning a first-team spot on the all-region team for LaGrange is outfielder Seth Stargell, who was a standout defensive player and an important member of the lineup.
Four LaGrange players were selected as second-team all-region players, including catcher Zack Thompson, who was behind the plate for nearly every game this season.
Senior outfielder Will Alford also earned a second-team selection, as did Turner Cook, who hit a home run in a late-season win Landmark Christian.
Also making the second team was Trevor Booton, who teamed with Morgan to give LaGrange a potent one-two combination on the pitcher’s mound.
In a 9-0 win over Jenkins in the first round of the playoffs, Booton delivered an epic performance, throwing a seven-inning no-hitter with a remarkable 17 strikeouts.
Booton also pitched a complete game in a 9-7 win over Columbus that ultimately helped LaGrange finish second in the region.
Landon Tucker, a pitcher and middle infielder for LaGrange, was an honorable-mention all-region player.
Tucker has signed with Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee.