After a long season that ended in the semifinals of the Class AAA state tournament, the Troup High baseball team jumped right into its summer season after a few days off.
Troup wrapped up its summer schedule last week with a doubleheader against Callaway.
“A lot of our kids, they has less than a week off before we started right back,” Troup head coach Craig Garner said. “We had to jump right back in it and start again. It’s tough, but they grinded through it.”
Troup fielded two teams, and Garner said the two teams ended up playing around 40 combined games.
“Our goal is to get anywhere from 15 to 20 games with each team,” Garner said.
Garner believes the summer is important largely because it gives the younger players an introduction to varsity baseball at Troup.
“It’s a learning curve, even for the guys who have already played a year on the ninth--grade team,” Garner said. “It’s still a big jump to go from the ninth-grade program to what we consider our varsity level. We try to expose all those kids to what the varsity level is about. I think they handled it pretty well.”
Garner said the team’s veterans did a great job of helping bring the younger players along during the summer.
“We try to use the older guys to teach the younger guys coming up, just try to utilize them as coaches on the field,” Garner said. “It’s a big learning process more than anything. Anytime you can put your older guys in a leadership position I think it helps strength your program overall.”
Troup is coming off one of the best seasons in school history.
The Tigers won three straight road playoff series to make it to the state semifinals for the first time since 1986.
In the semifinals, they pushed eventual state-champion Columbus to three games before falling.