In about 10 minutes, the Troup Tigers turned a game that was a tossup into a blowout victory.
The Shaw Raiders, thanks to a three-run fifth inning, found themselves down by just one run as the Tigers came to bat in the bottom of the inning.
The Raiders’ hopes of snaring the Region 2-AAA victory quickly fell by the wayside, though.
Troup sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning, and they scored nine runs to take a 14-4 victory.
The game ended when the 14th run scored because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Troup’s Luke Bailey had two hits in the fifth inning, and he finished with three hits, including a mammoth home run in a four-run first inning.
Brian Alder gave up two hits and pitched five innings for the victory.
Troup (9-5 overall) improved to 3-1 in the region and remains in second place behind Columbus.
The Tigers have won seven of their past eight games, with the only loss in that span coming to Columbus on Saturday.
“We are getting a lot better,” said Bailey, a senior catcher who will likely be a first-round pick in the professional baseball draft. “This lineup’s getting a lot stronger. (Eric Escobedo) is strong behind me.”
The strength of the lineup manifested itself in the fifth inning when the Tigers busted the game open.
Bailey led off with a single, and after Escobedo and Rus Morman walked, Spencer Aldridge was hit by a pitch to drive in a run.
Garrett Cole followed with a bases-loaded double that cleared the bases, and the Tigers were up 9-4.
Later in the inning, Jackson Oliver, Bailey and Escobedo had consecutive doubles, and Morman ended the game with an RBI single.
The Tigers scored four runs in the first inning, a rally highlighted by Bailey’s second home run of the season.
After Oliver singled, Bailey took the first pitch and deposited about 100 feet beyond the left-field fence.
Bailey has set school records for home runs the past two seasons, and he hit 13 out a year ago, but he’s off that pace this season.
Still, Bailey is hitting well over .500, and his on-base percentage is much higher than that because he walks so often.
Bailey has also been a defensive force at catcher, although he took a break from the field on Wednesday as he served as the designated hitter.
“I’m not hitting so many (home runs), but it’s not like I’m popping it up or anything,” Garner said.
Morman added an RBI single in the first as the Tigers surged to a 4-0 lead.
Troup coach Craig Garner was hoping his team would go ahead and put the Raiders away, but that didn’t happen.
“The best way to take care of this group here is to be aggressive early, put the pressure on them and try to get some runs on the board,” Garner said. “And we did, but we didn’t follow it up in the second. It gives them some confidence, and they started hiving the ball a little bit, and we kicked it around. We helped them (with three errors).”
Shaw scored a single run in the third, but an Oliver RBI double in the fourth put the Tigers on top 5-1.
The Raiders got RBI doubles from Dustin Averett and Chance Hicks in the fifth inning, and a four-run lead was down to one.
The Raiders had two runners on when Alder got a strikeout to end the threat, and the Tigers put it away in the bottom of the inning.
Troup is scheduled to play at Kendrick on Friday at 4:15 p.m.