FAYETTEVILLE – That’s not how they wanted to win a baseball game.
The Troup Tigers headed to Fayette County on Tuesday for what they thought was going to be the opener of a three-game series.
The game was never played, though.
Fayette County thought it had secured umpires for the game, but something went wrong along the way.
Umpires weren’t dispatched for the game, and the organization that provides umpires for Fayette County’s games said there was no one available.
“The umpires didn’t show up,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said. “(Fayette County’s coach) just said, well, I guess this is going to be a forfeit on our part.”
So that’s what happened.
The Tigers (16-5 overall) were awarded a forfeit victory, and they improved to 9-1 in Region 5-AAAA, and they have a three-game lead over Carrollton, Whitewater and Woodward Academy in the region standings.
Garner said they waited until about 30 minutes after the game was supposed to start to make the call, although it was apparent pretty quickly there would no solution.
So the Tigers boarded the bus and headed back home to Troup County without playing a game.
“We waited until about 6 p.m.,” Garner said. “The umpire association had already told them that they had nobody.”
Garner has been coaching for a couple of decades, and he said he’s never had a situation like that.
“I’ve had them show up late,” he said. “But we’ve never had a situation where they just didn’t show up, where you couldn’t get anybody.”
Troup and Fayette County, unless there are any other complications, will play two games later this week.
Fayette County will be the host team on Thursday and Friday, and if Troup wins both games, it could conceivably have the region championship wrapped up before playing any of its three games against Whitewater next week.
If Troup wins both games against Fayette County and Whitewater loses one of its two remaining games with Woodward Academy this week, it will capture its first region title since 1995.
If both teams win their remaining games this week, Troup would only need to beat Whitewater in one of the three games next week to win the region crown.
The Tigers have greater aspirations than just winning a region title, of course.
The Tigers are ranked second in the maxpreps.com Class AAAA state rankings, trailing only Buford (17-3), which won the state championship last season.
The maxpreps.com rankings take into account strength of schedule, which plays greatly in Troup’s favor.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports