Troup County scored three times in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday evening to take a 4-1 lead over visiting Cartersville, then closed out the final frame with a double play to remain unbeaten in region action and hand the Canes their first region loss of the year. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning off Cartersville ace Mason Barnett. Back to back one-out singles and an infield miscue put Troup County baserunners at second and third base. Following a strikeout for the second out of the inning, a wild pitch allowed a run home for the first score of the game.
The Hurricanes answered in the top of the sixth inning to knot the score at 1-1.
Preston Welchel singled to right field and moved up to second base on a passed ball. Barnett followed with a ground ball that got passed the Tigers’ third baseman and Welchel scored on the error.
In the fateful bottom of the sixth, Troup utilized a hit batsman, a walk, and a single to load the bases with no outs. Canes’ head coach Kyle Tucker lifted Barnett and inserted Gage Morris on the mound. Morris fanned the first batter he faced, but a passed ball during the next at-bat made the score 2-1 and a Colby Williams two-RBI single gave the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
Morris struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Ian Inaba reached on a one-out single in the Canes’ seventh, but a ground ball double play retired the side. Both teams finished the contest with five hits. Colton Webb had two hits for Troup. Williams, Trace Meadows, and Cade Garner had the other Tigers’ base hits.
Inaba had two of the Canes’ base hits. Welchel, Barnett, and Cohen Wilbanks had the other Cartersville safeties. Jackson Knox (7 IP, 1R, 0ER, 5H, 0BB, 8K) went the distance to earn the pitching win for Troup County (6-11, 3-0 Region 5-AAAA). Barnett (5 IP, 4R, 3ER, 4H, 2BB, 6K) suffered the pitching loss for Cartersville with Morris (1 IP, 0R, 1H, 3K) closing out the sixth inning.
Cartersville (15-4, 4-1) hosts the second game of the two-game region series with Troup Friday at 5:55 p.m. at Richard Bell Field.