With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday evening, Troup’s Dalton Hadley stepped to the plate with a chance to break a scoreless tie and end the game against Harris county.
“He’s the best one for that job because he’s a dipper and a lifter,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said. “That’s all he wants to do.”
Hadley nearly lifted the ball right out of the park.
The senior blasted the ball deep to left field, and it fell just a few short of the fence.
Hadley was credited with an RBI single, and that gave Troup a 1-0 victory.
It also made a winner of pitcher Jacob Ozley, who delivered a brilliant shutout performance.
“Jacob pitched awesome,” Garner said. “He loves the pressure.”
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Tigers, who got their record back to .500 at 4-4.
Justin Neighbors got the seventh-inning rally started with a base hit, and Miles Cameron followed with a single after he fouled off two bunt attempts.
Next up was C.J. Tatum, and after he was unable to get a bunt down, he hit a fly ball to left field that was dropped, and the Tigers had the bases loaded and no outs.
That brought Hadley to the plate, and he knew what his job was.
“I was just trying to get it to the outfield,” Hadley said. “That’s the only thing I was worried about. He gave me a perfect pitch.”
Hadley finished with two hits, and Jarred Adams also had two hits.
The star of the day was unquestionably Ozley, though.
Ozley gave up just four hits and one walk and delivered a performance Hadley called “amazing.”
While Garner was glad to see his team get back on the winning track, he was disappointed with the lack of execution in certain areas, most notably an inability to get bunts down.
“We’re not going to win many ballgames like that. We’re just not. I know that,” Garner said. “It’s hard to teach that to them when they win. That’s why I say you learn more from your losses than you do from your wins.”
Troup is scheduled to visit St. Pius X in Atlanta on Tuesday before opening Region 5-AAAA play on Friday at Alexander.