SUWANEE - After giving their fans some last-inning thrills the night before, the Troup American all-stars got it done in more convincing fashion Sunday evening on Day 2 of the Dixie Youth Baseball 11-12-year-old state tournament.
On Saturday, Troup was up 8-1, but after losing all of that lead, it got a walk-off hit from Jarred Helton to take a 9-8 victory.
One day later, Troup again jumped out to the lead, but the storyline was vastly different.
With three pitchers combining to throw a gem, Troup cruised to a 9-0 victory over Whitfield County to remain in the winner’s bracket of the tournament.
Troup, which won the district title to qualify for state, remained unbeaten in tournament play heading into today’s showdown against North Macon at 8 p.m.
“They know how to play together, and they never give up,” Troup head coach Perry Prather said. “It’s been a good group.”
On Sunday, Troup scored three runs in the bottom of the first, and that was plenty thanks to the performance of the pitchers.
Helton started and pitched two innings, Ellis Matthews went the next two innings, and Colson Blackburn went the final two innings.
At the plate, Helton had a big day with three hits, including a pair of doubles.
David Sweat, Ellis Matthews, Daniel Swann, Blackburn and John Crawford each had two hits, and Swann reached base four times.
Seth Prather added an RBI single.
“The pitching was good, and the bats came through,” Prather said. “It was a really good win. Whitfield’s a good team.”
On Saturday, Troup was ahead 8-1 going into the fifth inning, but Albany International rallied, and it was tied heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Matthew Freeman led off the walk, which was followed up by walks to Hudson Graham and Matthews.
Helton came to the plate and delivered his second RBI single of the night, giving Troup the walk-off win.
Prather said that it was his team’s “never say die” attitude that helped it to pull out the victory.
Blackburn and John Todd Bohn each had three hits, and Helton, John Crawford and Charles Crawford each had RBI hits.