There is no simple route for those who seek the No. 1 status.
It is a long, hard, rocky road with pitfalls around every bend. The Troup National All-Stars knew that going in, and they knew that leaving the premises. What Troup National did in the better part of two weeks at the Dixie Youth State Tournament in Roberta was win six games, lose one and persevere just enough to gain that No. 1 ranking.
Troup National capped off a long road trip by winning the 11 & 12-yearold state baseball championship. The LaGrange team finished the tournament on a 5-game winning streak, including a 6-3 victory over Seminole County on Sunday morning in the grand finale.
That Troup National All-Star win over Seminole County avenged a 6-5 loss to the same team in just the second round of the tournament on July 15. Troup National played some of its best baseball of the summer just last weekend with a 10-4 win against Crawford County and a doubleheader sweep against Wrens.
Troup National earned its state championship every step of the way. The Troup National All-Stars also steamrolled West Augusta, 14-4 and Manchester, 9-1 earlier in the tournament.
It wasn’t one player that won the state title for Troup National. It was the entire team that made this state title dream come true.
“We had timely hitting. We had contributions from the top to the bottom (of the batting order). We had more to prove. In each ball game we won in a different fashion. We came out of our shell,” said Troup National head coach Curt Longshore.
He can believe Troup National is the state baseball champions.
“We had five players who were super hot (in Roberta). We wanted to put our stamp on things,” said Longshore.
The five boys with the smoking hot bats for Troup National included Blake Sheppard, Steven Hill, Dallas Pearson, Avery Hewell and Rocky Pemberton. There some RBI’s and victories in those bats.
There were also some twoout hits for the Troup National All-Stars in the State Tournament. Pearson was one of the most consistent hitters for Troup National with a .600 batting average. Pearson had a game-winning single in the top of the sixth inning in the second game of the doubleheader against Wrens on Saturday.
“Dallas was on another level. His adrenaline was pumping,” said Longshore.
Troup National also played some sparkling defense with shortstop Preston Pressley, second baseman Bryson Monteith, infielder Colton Esposito, catcher Trevor Booton, and outfielders Hewell, Pemberton and Hill. The all-stars from La-Grange came through with some solid pitching as well from Pemberton, Esposito, Sheppard and Booton in the State Tournament . Booton was also an offensive whiz.
Booton ended the state title run with a batting average of .555. Esposito led all Troup National hitters with a .750 batting average. Sheppard had a .600 batting average in the Dixie Youth State Tournament.
Troup National, which is 10-1 this summer (district and state), will play again on Aug. 5 against the Louisiana state champions in the Dixie Youth World Series in Oxford, Ala. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.