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A winning blast: THS advances in playoffs on Heacock homer

Down by one run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, one of Thomson's two seniors came up huge for the varsity baseball team Tuesday evening.


Thomson's LaBrandon Hudson slides in safely to second base.

Ryan Heacock's three-run homer to center field against Burke County not only pulled off a 7-5 win in the Region 3-AAA playoffs, it also cemented the Bulldogs' first trip to the state playoffs in nearly a decade.

"I was just trying to get a hit. That's all I wanted," Heacock said. "I was just trying to get the ball down. We had runners on base. We needed a run, so I was going to take what I could get."

Thomson fell behind the Bears 1-5 in the fifth inning, but battled back to within one during the sixth behind a two-run triple from Anthony "Pooh" Erwin. Erwin then scored on a Will Anderson base hit.

Clay Dent walked after a LaBrandon Hudson base hit to right field in the seventh which set up the Heacock homer. Hudson found all three bases from the plate, leaving him a homerun short of the cycle.


Drew Usry fires a pitch in Thomson's playoff win Tuesday against Burke County.

The Bulldogs (15-8) will look for more home-plate heroics from Heacock and the rest of the line up on Thursday when they face Benedictine in Savannah at 4 p.m. for the region's third seed in the state playoffs.

"It was nice. A win's a win, no matter who does it," Thomson Coach Terry Holder said. "It was really special today. ...Our senior Ryan Heacock came through and hit that thing. I'm so proud for him and the team."

In last week's action, Thomson jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first two innings against Richmond Academy on Friday. ARC then came back and re-took the lead only to watch the Bulldogs pull out a 23-17 win.

A highly anticipated showdown with region rival Harlem didn't go according to plan last Thursday for Thomson. They fell 0-10 in five innings.

"I'm going to have to battle that joker for as long as I live. He's a good coach, and they're not done," Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis said of Coach Holder.

Both coaches, sporting over 500 career wins apiece, saw their teams clash for the second time this season with Harlem winning both. The bright spot for Thomson again came from Heacock. The shortstop went 2-3 with a double, then came on to finish the game on the mound.

Morris News Service's Billy Byler contributed to this article.

Web posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006

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