LAGRANGE – Had the Troup Tigers lost to the Carrollton Trojans on Friday, their region-championship hopes would have been alive and well.
Here’s the thing, though.
If Troup had dropped that game, it would not have controlled its own destiny.
The Trojans, had they prevailed on Friday, would have been in a position to claim the Region 5-AAAA title by winning the remainder of their region games.
The Tigers could have gone 9-0 in the rest of their region games and still conceivably finished second.
That was on the mind of the Troup players heading into Friday’s showdown, which was going to determine the winner of the three-game series.
Troup prevailed in the series opener, and Carrollton won the next game, setting up Friday’s decisive game.
“We basically called that the region championship,” said Bo Halcomb, who was the starting pitcher on Friday.
It was no contest.
Troup took charge from the get-go and ended up winning 11-1 in a game that ended after six innings because of the run rule.
The Tigers remained in first place in the region, and their title hopes are in their own hands.
With Whitewater’s 12-7 loss to Carrollton on Monday, Troup (10-3 overall) is alone in first place with a 5-1 region record.
Whitewater, which won the region championship a year ago, is 5-2 in region play, and Carrollton is in third at 4-3.
Troup, thanks to last week’s series win, has the tiebreaker edge over Carrollton, and it ends the regular season with a series against Whitewater.
Troup swept Woodward Academy to open with a 3-0 region record, and it beat Carrollton 12-9 to improve to 4-0 in the region.
Troup then lost to Carrollton 8-5 in eight innings before getting back on track with Friday’s win.
Behind Winston Turner’s four-hit effort at the plate, and Bo Halcomb’s gem on the mound, Troup had no trouble dispatching Carrollton.
The Tigers took charge early, scoring two runs in the first inning, and they never looked back.
“It feels good to come out and swing it and get two runs on the board early,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said.
Halcomb was making his first start of the season, and he pitched into the sixth inning, and Turner got the final three outs to finish off the 10-run win.
Turner had a big week.
In the three Carrollton games, he had 10 hits and seven RBIs, and he pitched six innings in the series opener to get his sixth win of the season.
In the series finale, Turner had four hits, including a triple, and three RBIs.
One of Halcomb’s three hits was a two-run triple, Ryan Bliss and Colby Williams both had two hits, and Miles Cameron and Colby Bridwell both had RBI hits.
After participating in the IMG National Classic in Florida this week, Troup will return to region competition on April 5 for the start of a three-game series against Sandy Creek.
Troup will finish its region schedule with three games each against Fayette County and Whitewater.
A year ago, Whitewater took two-of-three from Troup in the final week of the regular season to win the region title.
Troup has put itself in great position to chase its first region championship since 1995, but there is still a long way to go.
Region 5-AAAA standings
Troup – 5-1
Whitewater – 5-2
Carrollton – 4-3
Woodward Academy – 3-3
Sandy Creek – 1-5
Fayette County – 1-5
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports