The Dixie Youth Baseball 11-12-year-old state tournament gets under way today in Albany, and Troup American will be the first team on the field.
Troup American will take on Albany American at 10 a.m. in the opening game of the 16-team, double-elimination tournament.
The teams are battling for not just the state crown, but an invitation to the Dixie Youth Baseball World Series.
Troup American earned its invitation to state by finishing second in the district tournament to Troup National.
“They’re ready to go. They’ve had enough practice,” Troup American coach Brent Bailey said. “We got to scrimmage the National team on Tuesday night. That was good for them. They’re just ready to play.”
Troup American went 2-2 in the district tournament, with both of the losses coming against a Troup National team that steamrolled to the championship.
If Troup American is able to make it through its eight-team bracket, it would possibly face Troup National in the best-of-three title series.
“That’d be fun,” Bailey said. “We’d know that Troup County would be represented (in the World Series).”
Bailey figures the key to his team’s success will be at the plate.
The pitching was solid in the district tournament, with Bryce Haynes leading the way with a shutout victory in the first game.
“If we hit the ball well, we’re going to be OK,” he said. “We’ve done well on defense, and I think we’ll be OK on our pitching. We just need to make sure we hit the ball. If we do that we’ll be in good shape.”