After the early rounds of the State Baseball Tournament the Troup National All-Stars are in an enviable position. Having played three games in Roberta, Troup National has a 2-1 record. The La-Grange baseball team has found its bearings. The Troup National All-Stars are on track with wins over West Augusta, 14-4, and Manchester, 9-1.
Troup National’s lone loss in the tournament so far is a 6-5 defeat to Seminole County from last Saturday morning. All in all, Troup National will take its first three games in the tournament.
These all-stars are still in the conversation and the hunt for a state championship in the 11 & 12 age category in Dixie Youth Baseball.
“We can compete for the title. We’re aggressive on the bases. We’re making good throws, and we’re putting the ball in play,” said Troup National head coach Curt Longshore.
Troup National is playing some wide open baseball. Longshore’s team scored an easy opening round win over the West Augusta All- Stars as Steven Hill and Bryson Monteith hit the ball with authority.
Colton Esposito and Trevor Booton were ready for game one as well. Booton and Esposito each hit a homer for Troup National.
“We set the tone early with some big hits, and it felt good,” said Longshore.
Esposito, Hill and Booton shared the pitching duty. Esposito started and went three innings. Hill and Booton pitched in relief.
“They mixed their pitches and hit their spots,” said Longshore.
In the second game of the tournament for Troup National there were some flaws and some hiccups in the slim one-run loss to Seminole County. The Troup National All-Stars was rolling with a 4-1 lead before the wheels came off in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Seminole County strung together a 5-run inning with a big bang at the end. Troup National fell behind, 6-4.
“We walked three guys, and then they hit a grand slam. You can’t give away free bases,” said Longshore.
Troup National did score one more time before losing. Esposito, Booton and Hill furnished some firepower for the Troup National All-Stars in the setback. Center fielder Preston Pressley also picked up an RBI for Troup National.
After that the Troup National All-Stars went back to the tournament drawing board and obliterated Manchester in the third round of play. Troup National scored runs by the truck load with base hits from Pressley, Hill and first baseman Blake Sheppard.
“We went out and battled. We chopped away the whole game,” said Longshore.
The Troup National mashers also got a pitching masterpiece from Rocky Pemberton, who tossed a 1-hitter against Manchester. There wasn’t much that Pemberton didn’t do or couldn’t do.
In one of his best games ever, Pemberton struck out 14 batters in 5 2/3 innings. The right-handed Booton got the final out in relief. But Pemberton was the star of this show for Troup National last Saturday night in the State Tournament.
“I did my job. They made some plays behind me, and I threw strikes with my fastball and changeup,” said Pemberton