The Diamond Dogs are a young team, but their coaching staff thinks the solid batting lineup will do some damage this season.
Thomson High catcher Aaron McCorkle tags out a Oglethorpe runner.
Photo by Kristopher Wells
Thomson High School's baseball team showed a little of that offensive firepower on Friday in the season opener at home against Oglethorpe County. The Bulldogs racked up a dozen runs in the game but fell short, 15-12 in a back-and-forth game.
Despite some early-season jitters, THS Coach Brad Smith was pleased with the effort from his team of mostly sophomores.
"I thought we hit the ball real well," he said of the team's 16 hits. "We had six errors in the game, and a lot of that's to be expected from the first game of the year. ...We're a young team, and we're going to get better as the season goes on."
Oglethorpe scored seven runs on the Bulldogs in the fifth inning to take a 15-8 lead, but Thomson answered with four runs in an attempt to retake the lead.
"We bounced back from that in the next inning, so I thought we were pretty resilient," Coach Smith said. "We try to get them to have a no-die type attitude. Those guys are young, and they'd been behind before. I though they grew up a lot in coming back like that."
The Bulldogs showed signs of that resilience in the first inning when Oglethorpe opened the game with two-runs. Thomson stormed back in the bottom of the first to take a 4-2 lead. In the top of the second, Oglethorpe tied the game at four. But in the end, Oglethorpe County's hitting proved too much for the Bulldogs.
Clay Dent, Pat Finnerty and T.J. Clary all performed well at the plate for Thomson. And according to Coach Smith, the solid base-hitting will have to continue this year if the Bulldogs hope to win many games.
"We're going to have to be able to have some offense because our pitching -- because we're young -- is going to need some backing, run-wise," he said.
Despite the loss, Coach Smith said the game is a good learning experience for his team that includes only three seniors and three juniors.
"We're going to get better, and they're not going to get discouraged, and we're not going to let them get discouraged," he said. "We're going to be competitive with what we've got."
The Bulldogs play at home today at 4:30 p.m. against Glascock County. The Bulldogs' first away game of the season is Saturday against Elbert County at 1 p.m. in Evans.