BRADENTON, Fla. – The Troup Tigers completed their stay in the IMG National Classic with a loss to the host team on Friday.
Troup rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull even, but IMG Academy pushed a run across in the top of the seventh to claim a 5-4 victory in the tournament’s third-place game.
Troup (12-5 overall) finished with a 2-2 tournament record, and it placed fourth in the 10-team field.
After getting rained out on Tuesday, Troup beat Windermere Prep 6-1 and Bishop McLaughlin 8-5 on Wednesday to advance to the semifinals.
With a berth in the championship game on the line, Troup was blanked by St. John’s 4-0 on Thursday.
In Friday’s tournament finale, IMG Academy surged to a 4-1 lead, but Troup tied it with the three-run outburst in the sixth inning.
In what was an unfortunate theme for the Tigers, they committed an error with two outs that led to an unearned run in the top of the seventh.
Troup was unable to answer in the bottom of the seventh, and IMG escaped with the one-run win.
Troup committed six errors that resulted in four unearned runs, and Bo Halcomb was the tough-luck loser.
Halcomb, a senior who was making his second start of the season, delivered a stellar complete-game performance, and only one of the five runs he allowed was earned.
Halcomb also led the way at the plate with two hits, Cooper Doughman had an RBI single, and Miles Cameron had a hit and he knocked in a run with a groundout.
Kinley Bridwell and Colby Williams also had hits for the Panthers.
Troup jumped on top with a run in the first inning.
Halcomb singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Cameron groundout.
IMG scored two runs in the second inning and single runs in the third and fifth innings to build a 4-1 lead.
Troup tied it in the sixth inning.
Bliss and Cameron led off with back-to-back walks, and with one out, Jarred Helton reached on an error, and Bliss scored on the play.
Another infield error allowed Cameron to score, and Doughman’s infield single brought pinch-runner Camren Russell in with the tying run.
Michael Young walked to keep the inning alive, but the Tigers were unable to score the go-ahead run.
After IMG took the lead in the top of the seventh, Troup turned a double play, and catcher Trent Bailey threw a base stealer out at second for the third out.
The Tigers had base runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but they were both left stranded.
Troup will return to its Region 5-AAAA schedule next week with three games against Sandy Creek.
The Tigers will host Thursday’s game, and they’ll be on the road on Tuesday and Friday.
Troup is in first place in the region with a 5-1 record.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports