Tigers’ offense heats up

By Kevin Eckleberry

March 11, 2014

Carson Aldridge wasn’t thinking about a home run.

When the Troup High senior came to the plate in the bottom of the third inning of Monday’s game against the Valley Rams, he was just looking to make solid contact and hopefully reach base.

Aldridge did a lot more than that.

Aldridge got a pitch to his liking, and he drove the ball over the left-field fence for a two-run home run.

It was Aldridge’s first career home run.

“I just waited back, and swung through it,” Aldridge said. “I wasn’t trying to do too much.”

Aldridge’s home run was part of a big offensive day for the Tigers (4-4), who had 15 hits on the way to a 16-2 victory.

Another senior, Brannon Weathers, had a three-hit performance with two RBIs, and Tyler Bunn also had three hits.

“We were real patient, and we were taking balls,” Aldridge said. “We did really good offensively today.”

Colby Bridwell made his first start of the season and pitched into the fourth inning to get the win, and Bo Halcomb got the game’s final five outs.

The game was shortened to five innings because of the mercy rule.

The Tigers jumped on top with three runs on five hits in the bottom of the first inning, with Tyler Kemp knocking in a pair of runs with a base hit.

The Rams answered with two runs in the top of the third, with both runs scoring when a ball was dropped in the outfield.

The Tigers reclaimed control with four runs in their half of the third inning.

Bunn had an RBI single, and C.J. Tatum followed with a triple to push the lead to 5-2.

Aldridge then stepped to the plate and powered the ball over the outfield fence for a home run, and Troup’s lead was 7-2.

The Rams threatened in the top of the fourth when Bridwell issued a pair of walks, but Halcomb came in and struck out a pair of batters to keep any runs from scoring.

The Tigers then hung nine runs on the Rams in the fourth inning.

They did it with six walks, one hit batter, and four hits.

Weathers and Tanius Harris each had two-run base hits in the inning, and Tatum knocked in a run with an infield single.

Jonathan Foster and Miles Cameron each walked with the bases loaded to drive in runs, and Colby Darda was hit by a pitch to bring in another run.

“I was very pleased with the patience,” Troup coach Craig Garner said. “Once it started getting away, you have a tendency to want to hit so bad that you swing at some bad pitches.”

Halcomb finished off the Rams in the top of the fifth, and the game was over.

Troup will return to the field on Wednesday for a road game against Auburn (Ala.).