High School Baseball
Cougars' debut spoiled by Troup in 8-3 loss
by Doug Gorman
The Troup Tigers spoiled the official head coaching debut of first-year Newnan baseball coach Marc Gilmore with an 8-3 non-region victory Wednesday night at Joe Pope Field.
Gilmore, a nine-year assistant at Newnan, takes the reigns this season after veteran coach Kenny Morris retired last year.
Newnan fell behind early against the Tigers, giving up a single run in the second, two in the third and two in the fourth to give Troup a 5-0 lead before the Cougars finally dented the scoreboard with their first run in the bottom of the fourth.
However, it wasn't a lack of offense that hurt Newnan's chances of winning the season opener. Instead, five errors played a major role in the loss.
Still, while outhitting Troup 13-9, the Cougars bats certainly impressed Gilmore a year after losing more than a dozen seniors, at least nine of which played major roles in a 23-6 season in 2013.
'I wasn't sure how we were going to hit the ball tonight,' he said 'A lot of our guys haven't played too much varsity baseball, but we swung the bats well.'
Like a lot of teams, Newnan jumped into the season with limited practices because of the wintry weather that forced school to be cancelled for several days over the past three weeks.
'It's a factor,' he said. 'We have only had 10 days of practice and it makes a difference, especially with some of our younger guys.'
Leadoff hitter Brady Barnes was hurt by the limited practices. Barnes turned in a 4-for-4 performance and Justin Groover and Connor Dunn each went 2-for-4 with a double and a single each to spark the offense.
Despite falling behind 5-0 early, Newnan didn't go quietly.
The Cougars scored their first run in the bottom of the fourth when Dunn doubled and Sawyer Steele brought him around to score on an RBI single.
Newnan then brought its final two runs of the game across the plate in the sixth inning getting help from the bottom of the order when Matt Thomley and Drew Oldham singled and scored on RBIs from Sam Sowerbrower and Barnes.
However Troup starting pitcher Drew Holcomb pitched out of fire to end the rally after the Cougars cut the lead to 5-3.
Troup regained the momentum with three more runs in the top of the seventh to round out the scoring.
The Tigers' leadoff w hitter Bo Holcomb also finished with big day at the plate, reaching on two singles and a getting hit by a pitch. He also scored two of the Tigers' runs, including one in the eighth.
Miles Cameron also reached base three times and scored two runs en route to the win.
Newnan returns to action with a pair of games starting Friday in the Home Plate Tournament hosted by Whitewater. Games will be played at 'The Chuck' in Peachtree City.
The Cougars play Allatoona on Friday and Whitewater on Saturday.
'It should be a really good test for us,' he said, 'We know the big thing is to get ready for our region.
TIGERS 8, COUGARS 3
TROUP 012 200 3-8 9 1 NEWNAN 000 102 0-3 13 5
WP - Bo Holcomb LP - Tanner Snellgrove