Needing a victory over Lee County to keep its championship hopes alive in the Dixie Boys Baseball 11-12-year-old state tournament, Troup National got a sensational pitching performance from Jarred Helton, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a 2-1 loss.
Lee County advances to the best-of-three championship series, while Troup National saw its summer season come to a close.
Troup National won the district tournament, and it went 3-2 in the state tournament, with both of its losses coming to Lee County.
Head coach Charles Sweat said he appreciated the players making the summer such an enjoyable time.
“I told the kids after the game that they are the 17th and last rec ball team I have coached and I have never been more proud of a group of kids,” Sweat said. “They all have great futures ahead. Our high schools will be in good shape in a few years.”
Sweat also thanked “a great group of parents for their support. Troup County was well-represented.”
Sweat also said the “fans were great,” including the Troup American team that was off Wednesday and provided a loud cheering section.
Lee County pushed a pair of unearned runs across in the first inning, but Helton dominated after that, and he only gave up four hits in his five innings of work.
“Jarred Helton was unbelievable for us tonight,” Sweat said. “He kept their hitters off-balance all night with a strong fastball and two great breaking pitches, the curve and the slurve. I could not be more proud of the way Jarred pitched and the way our kids never gave up.”
Lee County’s Aaron Greene dominated as well, striking out 14 and surrendering four hits in his six innings of work.
For Troup, Cam Gosdin had a hit and an RBI, and Parker Kennedy had a pair of hits. Helton also had a hit.
Troup National scored its lone run in the fourth inning.