In the opening game of the Dixie Youth Baseball 11-12-year-old District 1 tournament, Troup National coach Charles Sweat put the ball in the hands of right-hander Jarred Helton.
Helton responded in brilliant fashion with a six-inning shutout as Troup National ripped Thomaston 9-0 to move into the winner’s bracket in the five-team tournament.
Troup will face Pike County at 6 p.m. today, with the winner of that game taking on Troup American on Tuesday at 8 p.m.
Sweat said he never considering going to another pitcher, despite the steamy conditions.
“He was on, and he just kept pitching,” Sweat said.
Afterward, Sweat awarded the game ball to Helton.
“I asked the boys after the game, and I don’t usually give game balls during all-stars, but I said who do you want me to give (the game ball) to,” Sweat said. “They all said Jarred.
“I asked them, when Jarred’s out there pitching, are you confident? They said yes. And (the coaches) are to. He got on a roll.”
Troup National took charge with five runs in the second inning.
Cooper Doughman had a base hit, David Sweat had a double, and three other Troup batters reached on walks in the inning.
In the third inning, Troup went up 6-0 when Seth Prather came through with an RBI double.
Troup padded its lead with four runs in the fifth.
After Joseph Calhoun and Sweat walked, Cam Gosdin’s sacrifice fly made it 7-0, and John Crawford added an RBI single to push the lead to eight.
Cole Freeman reached on a fielder’s choice with one out to knock in the final run of the inning.
Doughman had a couple of hits for Troup, and Prather and Sweat each had doubles.
Crawford, Parker Kennedy and Calhoun also had hits, and Helton reached base three times with walks.