The Troup National all-stars handled a tough Manchester squad 9-5 on Tuesday to advance to the championship game of the Dixie Youth Baseball 9-10-year old District 1 tournament at the Harris Baseball Complex.
Troup will take on Pike County, which earned its title shot with a 17-4 thumping of Thomaston on Tuesday.
Pike County, which has one tournament loss, would have to beat unbeaten Troup National today and Thursday to earn the district championship.
Troup and Pike County will both represent the district at the state tournament in Wrens.
In Tuesday’s game, Zach Turner and Wesley Marchman combined to get the job done on the mound, and the Troup offense came through with another balanced effort at the plate.
If there was an area coach Kyle Crawford feels there needs to be some improvement, it was on defense where Troup had some miscues that led to a handful of Manchester runs.
“We made more errors against Manchester than we have against anybody else,” Crawford said. “We just lost a little focus, and that’s when we made the errors and they scored their runs.”
Troup was still plenty good enough to dispatch Manchester thanks to the superb pitching and a consistent offensive effort.
Turner got the start and pitched the first three innings, and Marchman finished things off with three dominant innings.
“Zach battled through and got tired, and Wesley came in and shut them down,” Crawford said. “We’re very fortunate to be deep in pitching.”
Troup took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Leadoff hitter Charles Crawford set the table with a double and later scored on a wild pitch, and Jordan Ogletree scored on an error after tripling.
After Manchester tied it with a pair of runs in the top of the second on a double by Harrison James, Troup rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead for good.
Jake Cardwell reached on an infield single and later scored on an error, Will Alford knocked in a run with a groundout, and Tripp Harris had an RBI single.
Matthew Morgan also had a base hit during the inning, and Caleb McCurry got things started with a leadoff walk.
Manchester scored two unearned runs in the top of the third to get within a run, and Troup pushed one run across in the bottom of the inning.
Ogletree led off with a base hit, and he scored when Wesley Marchman reached on an infield single.
It remained a 6-4 game until Troup notched three insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Sam Henderson had an RBI double in the inning, and Cardwell drove in another run with a base hit.
Ogletree brought in the inning’s first run with a sacrifice fly, and Marchman had a double to keep the rally going, and Crawford and McCurry each had hits in the inning.
Manchester managed one run in the top of the sixth, but Marchman struck out the final batter to end it.