Since they first began practicing together more than a month ago, the Troup County National 11-12-year-old all-stars have had their eyes set on a state championship.
Now, the team is two victories away from achieving that goal.
After winning its side of the bracket with a dominant performance, Troup County will play Thomaston in the best-of-three championship series at the Harris Baseball Complex.
The teams will play one game at 6 p.m. today, and a second game Saturday at 10 a.m.
If the teams split those two games, a third and deciding game would also be played Saturday.
“They are excited,” Troup head coach Bill Johnson said. “This has been their goal since all-stars started, and we know that we still have a long way to go and a lot of work left to be done, but I think that they will continue to work hard and stay focused and hopefully it will work out for us.”
For many players on the team, this will be a chance to win a third straight state title, but for others, such as first baseman and pitcher Cortney Laye, this weekend offers a chance to win state for the first time.
“It feels good,” Laye said. “This will be my first time going, and I can’t wait to see what the outcome will be for us.”
Troup is here in large part because of its ability to bash the ball.
In its five games in the tournament, Troup has hit a remarkable 17 home runs, all while outscoring the opposition 69-6.
Thomaston is no slouch either.
After running through its side of the bracket, Thomaston ran into a road block against Wrens on Wednesday night, but was able to rebound on Thursday to win 5-3 and advance to the series with Troup.
As for preparing for the championship matchup, Johnson said that his team is sticking to the same game plan.
“We haven’t seen them at all,” Johnson said of Thomaston. “We prepare for every situation. The guys are spending a lot of time practicing and making sure they are ready for anyone that they will face. The thing is to just be prepared for any situation that they come across.”