For the fourth consecutive year, the Thomson Middle School Bulldogs are the Super 10 Baseball Champions.
The feat, never before accomplished, occurred on Saturday, April 14, in Eatonton, as the Bulldogs defeated Putnam County Middle School by a score of 17-2.
Thomson Middle, the favored team to win the championship again this year, got to the title game by virtue of a forfeit in the semi-finals.
"I'm very proud of the seventh and eighth graders who played on our baseball team this year," said Brett Chalker, head coach at Thomson Middle School. "We set out to win the title again this season, and we were able to do that with the commitment of our players and their parents being supportive of us."
Coach Chalker, who has headed the middle school baseball program for the past five years, said he and assistant coach Butch Evans "had another fine group of baseball players. They came to practice, worked hard to get better, and it showed on the field."
The baseball team now joins the football team in having captured Super 10 championships this school year. In 2003, the school won such titles in four different sports - baseball, football, basketball and co-ed soccer.
In the title game against Putnam County, the game only went three innings, because of the mercy rule.
The Bulldogs collected more than a dozen hits, took advantage of several miscues by their opponents and "simply out-pitched" Putnam County, Coach Chalker said.
The game was won by eighth grade right-handed pitcher Phillip Anderson, whose brother, Will, is the starting first baseman and a relief pitcher on the varsity baseball team at Thomson High School.
Anderson gave up only one hit - a homerun. He struck out seven batters, walked the bases loaded at one point and pitched himself out of the jam. He threw only 53 pitches during the three innings that he worked.
In addition, Anderson aided his own cause with the bat - smashing two inside-the-park homeruns.
"He dominated the league with his hitting and pitching all season," Coach Chalker said. "He was head and shoulders above everybody."
The head coach also praised four other pitchers on the team - Abram Cartledge, Nick Rau, Will Tankersley and Charlie Barmore - all eighth graders, who plan to play on the junior varsity team at Thomson High School next season.
There also was help from four other pitchers - Austin Cooper, Josh Jones, John Holloway and William Krepps - all seventh graders, during the season.
The TMS Bulldogs finish their season with an overall record of 13-1. Their lone loss came at the hands of Washington-Wilkes by a score of 7-3.
The team was made up of the following eighth graders: Phillip Anderson, Nick Rau, Charlie Barmore, Abram Cartledge, Cody Corbitt, Ronald Jackson, Josh Daniels, Will Tankersley, Nic Wood and Jesse Usry.
Seventh graders on the team included: Austin Cooper, John Holloway, Chad Austin, Jacob Tillman, William Krepps, Josh Jones and Matt Connor.
Managers on the team included Hank Doupe', Gunn McClure, Clay Blassingame and Austin Whittle.