He has already figured it out.
“We have to score more runs than they do,” said Curt Longshore, the head coach of the Troup National All-Stars.
Longshore will take his 11 & 12-year-old baseball boys to the Dixie Youth World Series tomorrow in Oxford, Ala. The six-day tournament will get underway for Troup National on Saturday with an opening round game against the Louisiana state champions.
Game time will be 3:30 p.m. The Troup National All-Stars will have their game faces on. The players promise, and Longshore insists.
“When it’s for real and the other team has a different colored jersey on, we come to play,” Longshore said. “We’ve been working hard this week. We’re in a good place. We have a gritty bunch. This is my kind of team.”
Troup National never gets cheated in the batter’s box. This team has some home run hitters, as well as some contact hitters. And together the Troup National All-Stars are capable of breaking loose at any time.
They’ve had some big innings in the past month at the district and state tournaments.
“We hit well from the top to the bottom (of the lineup). We play with a chip on our shoulder. We like the underdog label that everybody has pinned us with,” said Longshore. “We play hard.”
Troup National hits like there is no tomorrow. But actually, tomorrow the boys from LaGrange expect to compete and beat Louisiana in the World Series.
The Troup National All-Stars are led by two deep ball threats, Trevor Booton and Colton Esposito. Booton is batting .741 with five home runs in all-star play.
“I spread out, and I keep my hands back (in the batter’s box). I hit every day. I have a cage at home,” said Booton.
Esposito, a pitcher and infielder, has an offensive persona as well with a batting average of .538. Esposito has hit three home runs for Troup National. There is much more for the all-star team from LaGrange with first baseman Blake Sheppard and his .523 batting average, along with shortstop Preston Pressley and his .457 batting average.
Outfielder Avery Hewell is hitting .423 for Troup National. This all adds up to confidence as the LaGrange team gets ready for the World Series. The Troup National All-Stars are a total team, not just offense.
They are capable of winning some 11-10 games, but also some 3-2 games.
“We have real good pitchers, and our defense is getting better,” said Booton, who’s a valuable member of that Troup National pitching staff.
Booton also starts from time to time at catcher. As for defense, Troup National makes the routine plays and the out of the ordinary plays with Pressley, Hewell, second baseman Bryson Monteith, outfielders Rocky Pemberton, and Steven Hill and catcher Dallas Pearson.
Troup National’s Pearson and Booton share the catching duty. The all-star team has some hard throwing pitchers, too, with Esposito, Pemberton, Hill and Sheppard. They aim and fire.
“Our pitchers stay around the strike zone, and we trust our defense,” said Longshore.