In one of the most important baseball games of the season last Friday night, Westin Meehan drove in two runs to help propel the Thomson High School Bulldogs to a 2-0 victory over the visiting Harlem Bulldogs.
Thomson needed to win that game, as well as their 11-5 victory against Cross Creek's Razorbacks to move closer to the playoffs.
In the game against Harlem, Meehan's two key hits, combined with Stephen Krepps' four-hit pitching performance, was enough to get the job done for Thomson.
"That Krepps boy pitched really well against us," said Harlem head coach Jimmie Lewis after the game. "He dominated us. We just didn't get the kinds of hits we did when we played Thomson at our place. We had a lot of two-out hits in that first game against Thomson that helped us beat them."
It was Harlem's first sub-region loss of the season. Previously, Harlem's Bulldogs were undefeated in sub-region play with a perfect 7-0 record.
For Thomson, meanwhile, it was their first time beating Harlem in baseball.
"It was a big win for Thomson and McDuffie County in terms of our building a baseball program," said a jubilant Thomson Head Coach Terry Holder. "The kids played well. They wanted to win this game awfully bad. I'm proud of the way we hung in there and played as a team."
Coach Holder also praised Krepps for his role on the mound, going the seven-inning distance.
"Krepps really did a great job for us against Harlem," Coach Holder said. "He pitched his finest game of the season."
Krepps made sure he kept Harlem at bay with his fastball.
"After the first two innings, I made a couple of adjustments, which really helped me throw my fastball with more control," Krepps said.
Krepps, who transferred to Thomson High School from Hephzibah before the season began, struck out six Harlem batters and walked three. Among the four hits that he allowed, two of them were bloopers.
He pitched himself out of a jam in the first inning when the Bulldogs loaded the bases with two outs. Wesley Morris reached on a walk before Mike Leverett hit a single, and Patrick Gamblin walked. Krepps got of the jam when Mike Gram hit a blistering line drive that was caught by Phillip Bonner, Thomson's senior third baseman.
"This win was a real big boost for our team morale," Krepps added. "It was a real big win for us."
Several other Thomson players echoed those sentiments.
"This is a memory I'll never forget - beating the Harlem Bulldogs," said Anthony Erwin, the senior center fielder.
"You just don't know how good this feels," said Evan Howard, the senior left fielder. "It feels great. This is what we had been wanting to do since Coach Holder started coaching us was to beat Harlem."
For Aaron McCorkle, the senior catcher, it was much more than just another win.
"We beat one of the best high school baseball teams in the state," McCorkle said. "This is something I'll be able to tell my grandchildren about someday, maybe."