Hogansville hopes for rematch

By Kevin Eckleberry

July 10, 2014

Ron Wilson would love a rematch.

Wilson is the head coach of the Hogansville 9-10-year-old all-star team that lost to Troup National in the championship game of the Dixie Youth Baseball district tournament.

Both of those teams have advanced to the Dixie Youth Baseball state tournament that gets under way on Saturday in Wrens, and there’s a chance they could end up meeting in the championship series.

The winner of the state tournament earns an invitation to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.

“Looking at the bracket, it could be another match-up with us and Troup National for the state championship,” Wilson said. “That would be something if we got to play the best two out of three against them for the state championship.”

There’s plenty of work to do before that becomes a reality, though.

First up, Hogansville will face Donalsonville at noon on Saturday in its tournament opener.

Hogansville’s most recent game was on June 27 when it lost to Troup National 10-8 in the district championship game.

Hogansville fell behind 6-0, rallied to tie it at 6-6, but Troup National scored four runs in the final inning to win it.

Hogansville lost another close one to Troup National earlier in the tournament.

Hogansville was one out away from winning the game, but an error allowed Troup National to tie it.

Troup National went on to win 5-3 in extra innings.

“We got some tough breaks over in district, but the kids are still real optimistic about going forward in the state tournament,” Wilson said. “We feel like we’ve got a good shot.”

Wilson said the team has put the two weeks of practice since the district tournament ended to good use.

“We’ve had a great two weeks of practice,” Wilson said. “We’ve worked on a lot of things that we learned. We’ve gotten better. The bats have come around a lot better. We’ve found a few more pitchers that can throw strikes, so if we get deep into the tournament and get low on our pitching, we’ve got a couple of guys that can come in there and throw some innings for us. That’s good to know.”

Hogansville’s players will head to Wrens with something a little extra.

Thanks to a sponsorship, the players each received batting helmets with their numbers on them, and Wilson said that was a great moment for them.

“They’re excited,” Wilson said. “We got a sponsorship, got them helmets, got them another jersey so parents don’t have do laundry every single night. And I think I made their all-state experience when I gave them their own helmet with their number on it. That pumped them up.”