With Wednesday’s 7-5 victory over a determined Pike County squad, Troup National completed a 5-0 stay in the tournament to capture the championship.
Troup National and Pike County will each represent the district in the 9-10-year-old state tournament in Wrens.
The game was tied 5-5 in the third inning, but Troup took the lead with a run in the bottom of the third, and Wesley Marchman pitched three scoreless innings to finish things off.
Pike County made a much better account of itself than it did on Sunday when it lost to Troup National 11-1.
“They had something to prove,” Troup coach Kyle Crawford said. “We run-ruled them in the first game, and we run-ruled them last year. They were much-improved today.”
Sam Henderson started and pitched the first three innings, and he was the winning pitcher.
Marchman got the hard-earned save, and he finished the game in style with a perfect sixth inning.
Both Troup pitchers were backed up by a defense that was terrific.
In the fifth inning, Troup made two sensational defensive plays.
Right fielder Jordan Ogletree made a splendid running catch for the first out of the inning.
For the second out, shortstop Charles Crawford came up with the ball on a short hop, and first baseman Zach Turner scooped the ball out of the dirt for the out.
Troup made a handful of other nice plays in the game to help limit the damage done by Pike.
Troup’s defense was a strength throughout the tournament.
“We only had 16 practices, and we focused a lot on defense and a lot on base running,” Crawford said.
Troup had to fight from behind against Pike.
Trailing 3-0 after the top of the first inning, Troup rallied to tie it in the bottom of the inning.
After Crawford walked and Ogletree was hit by a pitch, Henderson’s base hit brought in two runs, and Turner knocked in another run with a groundout.
Troup took the lead with two more runs in the second.
Matthew Morgan was hit by a pitch and Luke Swann doubled, and Will Alford brought in a run with a groundout.
With two outs, Tripp Harris got a pitch to his liking, and he hammered it into the outfield for a double to drive in another run.
Pike, taking advantage of a rare Troup error in the top of the third, evened things up with two runs of its own, but Troup took the lead for good with a run in the bottom of the third.
Marchman singled, Henderson reached on a fielder’s choice, and Turner had a base hit to put runners on first and second.
Seth Lowry then reached on an error, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
It remained a one-run game until the bottom of the fifth when Troup notched a key insurance run.
Crawford walked and stole second and third before scoring on a passed ball to put Troup up 7-5.
Marchman set Pike down with ease in the top of the sixth, and that was that.
“The guys did good,” Crawford said. “We had very few errors. We hit the ball, and hit the ball in the right spot.”