Walker dominates on the mound to lead Troup past LaGrange

Published 9:25 pm Friday, April 12, 2024

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A young Troup High baseball team has done a lot of growing up this season. Friday served as a culmination of a year of hard work as the Tigers went to rival LaGrange’s house and snatched a 1-0 victory away.

“They aren’t freshman and sophomores anymore,” Troup coach Tanner Glisson said. “They have played enough now that they are experienced guys.”

This was a classic pitcher’s duel in every sense. For Troup, Carson Walker was simply superb. The sophomore allowed just two hits and struck out six batters in a dominant showing against the reigning 4A state runner-up. 

“It felt great to go seven innings, I haven’t done that in a while,” Walker said with a big smirk across his face. “I was a little surprised to get the start, but once I knew I was going to I just went out there and did whatever I needed to do to help the team win.”

Walker is an adept pitcher but normally starts at third base for the Tigers. Down some of their top pitchers, the Tigers needed somebody to step up and got just that in Walker.

“We gave him the ball and needed him to come through and he did just that,” Glisson said. “We were down to our no. 3 and 4 pitchers, so we needed him to come through in a big way and he did that.”

On the other side, LaGrange’s Robbie Parker had a stellar game on the mound as well. The senior All-State pitcher allowed just three hits and one earned run on seven strikeouts.

Offense was at a premium all night and it took until the fourth inning before the deadlock was broken. When the Tigers needed some offense, it was Walker helping his own cause. He grounded out to send Garrison Edwards home for the winning run.

Edwards is one of those young players that has grown up a lot this season. He has to show patience on the base path to ensure that he would be sliding home safely on Friday night. 

“It felt good and like pressure off my shoulders because I know as the lead-off hitter it’s my job to get on base for these guys and when I saw Carson was up to bat I knew he was going to bring me home,” Edwards said.

LaGrange’s offense struggled to get anything going all night. The most threatening the Grangers looked was when they got runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the second. Cooper Stephens had a double and Grady Westmoreland had a single for the LaGrange offense.

Troup could only muster three hits with Walker, Edwards and Chase Mosley all having one apiece.

The Tigers missed out on the playoffs last season and games like this were a lot of the reason why as the team could not find a way to win close games against good teams. Not this year. 

“It’s the small things,” Glisson said of the differences between last year and this year. “Just the attention to detail in preparation and how mentally solid these guys are is huge for us.”

LaGrange is now 19-9 overall and 6-4 in region play. The Grangers have already clinched a playoff berth, but have hit a bit of a rough patch in the season and are 2-2 in their last four games. LaGrange will host Fayette County for senior and its final home game of the regular season.

Troup improved to 16-9 overall and 8-3 in region play. The Tigers have been hitting their stride as of late, winning three in a row and eight of their last nine games.

“It’s not just these last two games, we’ve been on a good little streak for a while and if you go back and look at our losses we lost 4-2 to Central Phenix City which is one of the best teams in Alabama, so we have been right there,” Glisson said. “We’ve been playing good baseball and these guys have really been getting after it.”

Troup will host Calvary Christian on Saturday. Senior night celebrations are set to begin at 10:30 a.m. The Tigers will then rematch the Grangers on their home turf on Tuesday.

“We are a tough, gritty team,” Edwards said. “We aren’t going anywhere.”