With the district and state tournament championships now in their possession the Troup National All-Stars are turning their attention toward Oxford, Ala.
That is where the Dixie Youth World Series will be played from Aug. 5-10, and Troup National does expect to win more than its fair share of games as the world watches. The Troup National All-Stars will get started on Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. outing against Louisiana.
The LaGrange boys expect to realistically compete for a World Series title. Twelve baseball teams have the same expectations, but Troup National has one thing that not all of the baseball teams have.
Troup National has a deep pitching staff, and these 11 and 12-year-old players don’t care who gets the credit or the win. Troup National just wants to advance in the tournament and leave with another championship.
“We’re still hungry. The job isn’t done yet. Our boys are riding high. We have some fireballers and some finesse guys. On any given day any of them can be the ace,” said Troup National head coach Curt Longshore.
There is not one weak link in the Troup National pitching staff. The Troup National pitchers can throw strikes. They can get into trouble and out of trouble. They scratch, claw and get out of bases-loaded jams. They keep the bases-onballs to the minimum.
These guys can also field their position. Troup National has a pitching prominent staff with Colton Esposito, Rocky Pemberton, Steven Hill, Trevor Booton and Blake Sheppard.
The Troup National All-Stars are defensive dominant as well. They have made the rough and tough plays in the field this summer with second baseman Bryson Monteith, catcher Dallas Pearson, shortstop Preston Pressley and right fielder Avery Hewell.
Esposito, Booton and Blakely don’t mind getting dirty in the name of defense as well. They are scrappy.
“We know how to handle adversity. We have camaraderie with these boys. We are ready to play the games. When the lights go on, we show up,” said Longshore.
This montage of baseball talent for Troup National can score runs, too. The Troup National All-Stars have pummeled the ball this summer on their way to a 10-1 record.
Troup National has found some offense in large numbers with Booton, Esposito, Pressley, Hewell, Pearson, Pemberton, Monteith and Gryson Cockrell. Hill and Jimmie Jackson know how to get on base, too.
“We’re going into the World Series with the mindset, if we play our game we like our chances,” said Longshore. “We just try to put the ball in play.”