For the past week, 16 all-star teams from around the state competed in the Dixie Boys Majors sate tournament at City Pond Park, and once the dust finally settled, Troup County National was the last team standing. Troup County earned the championship trophy and a ticket to the Dixie Boys World Series after defeating Albany Dixie 14-4 Friday and then 12-2 Saturday.
"We worked our butts off to get here," said Troup County National coach Huey Hood. "Some of the kids, who I’m close with, gave me kind of a hard time for working them so hard up to this point, but now they see why. This makes it all worth it."
Troup County was the early favorite to win the tournament it was obvious why. They were the best team in every facet of the game. They power pitched, power hit and played immaculate defense. Troup County went undefeated in the tournament, the only team to do so, and not only did they win every game, they dominated.
Troup National’s path of destruction started last Saturday when they clobbered Buford 20-0 in their opening game. They then went on to beat Albany American 7-4, Lee County 6-1, Newton County National 10-5 and then Albany American again 7-4.
"I think the bracket we played in was so tough that it made us better as we went on," said Hood.
Troup National’s last victim would be Albany Dixie who they swept in the championship series. And it wasn’t even close.
In the first game, Troup County scored one earned run the first inning, six in the second, and two in the third. The rest of Troup’s runs came off of Albany Dixie errors, which there were plenty of.
Jonathon Foster led Troup National, hitting 2-for-3 with three RBIs including a two-run homer. Troup’s pitching was stellar as well. Logan Moody pitched the first two innings and gave up four hits and three runs while Cody Mimbs pitched the last two and gave up one hit and one run.
The second game of the series was another blowout. But, out of Troup National’s 12 scored runs, only eight were earned, with the rest coming from the plethora of Albany Dixie errors. Troup National also got top-notch pitching performances from Jeremy Harper, who worked the first three innings, and Logan Hood who closed it in the fourth. Troup National’s offensive leaders in game two were the usual suspects. Moody finished 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three RBIs and Foster went 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Colby Freeman and Perry Keith both went 2-for-3 as well with Keith hitting a solo home run.
Hood said that when it came to his teams’ overwhelming success in the tournament, there really wasn’t any secret.
"Pitching, solid defense, and hitting," he said. "Our pitchers gave up very few walks, very few wild pitches and we played error-free defense. We hit the ball pretty well too. These kids have wanted this for a year. We started building this team last year, and we’ve been working our butts off since."
Hood also had some good things to say about the Newton County Recreation Department. "I've been coaching for five years and this is first class up here," he said. "This is my first time being in Newton County and ya’ll did a great job."