Athlete of the week: Tripp Cummings had four years to remember on the diamond at Troup

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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It’s time for Tripp Cummings to hang up his cleats. The battle-tested lone senior on this year’s baseball team has just about seen it all in his four years as a Troup Tiger as he sits on the precipice of graduating and saying goodbye to the game he has loved, from the highs of winning a region championship and making three Elite Eight appearances to the lows of missing the playoffs as a junior and falling just short of making a Final Four appearance as a senior. Through it all, Cummings was a reliable and dependable arm on the mound.

“It was a fun run and I had a blast, but I knew that it would be coming to an end soon,” Cummings said. “It’s bittersweet, but I’m proud of the run I had here.”

Being the only senior on a team full of talented youngsters can be a difficult challenge. Through it all, Cummings found a way to impact the games through his arm and through his voice. 

“It was difficult at times, but I would think back to what the seniors on last year’s team like Reed Morris, Josh McDonald, Devon Murphy and Ty Medders would say to the team and tried to channel them,” Cummings said.

Cummings has seen just about every variation of the team over the years. From experienced, veteran squads to ones like this year where the majority of players are underclassmen. Right away he got thrust into the rotation and made an immediate impact. 

This season Cummings got his chance to shine on the big stage. In a winner-take-all game three in the round of 16, Cummings got the start on the mound and got the win to power his team through to the state quarterfinals. 

“That game against West Laurens this year was special,” he said. “It was the season on the line, and it felt so good to go out there and get my job done and help the team advance.

“I went into the game relaxed and just tried to have as much fun as I could.”

When Troup lost to Holy Innocents in game three of the state quarterfinals last week, Cummings knew that his time on the diamond was likely over. Instead of chasing the prospect of another year or three or more of baseball, Cummings is set to join the workforce and work for his father, Joe.

This would not be the first time Cummings has followed in his father’s footsteps. Joe was also a standout baseball player for the Tigers in his day. For a while, Cummings played first base like his old man, but as his arm developed, he began to take pitching lessons and fully came into his own as a baseball player.

“I was never really that good at hitting, and I started taking pitching lessons in like sixth or seventh grade and knew right away that it was where I needed to be,” he said. “It was an easy [position] switch for me.”

Cummings tried various other sports in his youth and wrestled during his eighth-grade and freshman seasons but was always most at home on the diamond. Playing baseball for Troup was something he always envisioned himself doing as a youngster hearing his dad talk about his days in the blue and gold jersey.

“Dad says he could take me deep when he was playing at Troup, but I don’t think he could even touch my stuff,” Cummings said, laughing.