Players set for next step

By Kevin Eckleberry

May 26, 2014

He made the most of his senior year.

Coming into the 2014 season, Brannon Weathers had been primarily a role player for the Troup Tigers.

That changed in a big way during Weathers’ senior season.

Weathers not only became a starter at second base and was a key member of the lineup, but he also provided a big boost on the pitching staff.

C.J. Tatum also excelled in his senior season, enjoying a fine spring from his outfield position.

Weathers and Tatum will both get a chance to build on their strong senior seasons next year when they make the transition to college baseball.

Weathers has signed a letter of intent to play at Point University in West Point, and Tatum is heading to Southern Union where he’ll be a walk-on according to Troup coach Craig Garner.

Weathers didn’t begin the season as the every-day second baseman, but when he got a chance to play, he usually produced.

When Weathers did become the regular second baseman, he played superb defensively, and he was one of the team’s most consistent hitters.

During one stretch, Weathers had hits in six straight at-bats, and he had three hits out of the number nine hole during a region win over Shaw.

“I had to sit a few years. I think it taught me a lot, taught me to work hard every day,” Weathers said during the season. “I’ve just had to work really hard.”

Weathers’ most memorable moment came on the mound.

Facing traditional power Columbus in an April game, Weathers got the complete-game victory in a 4-1 win.

Weathers gave up one run in the first inning, but he finished the game with six shutout innings.

“We were hoping to get three or four (innings) out of him,” Garner said after that game. “We just kept riding him. We just kept running him out there. He was able to change speeds, and mix his pitches up, and work in and out and up and down. He did everything you ask of him. He did a great job.”

Tatum, meanwhile, was a starter in the outfield from Day 1, and he came through with a strong season.

Tatum was also a valuable relief pitcher, and he actually got the save for Weathers in a 7-5 win over Fayette County.

Tatum said a valuable lesson he learned during his time at Troup was the importance of staying committed and never letting up, because there’s always another player waiting in the wings.

“You can’t have a bad practice,” Tatum said. “You have to be ready every day.”