A number of players lowered their heads, while some of their coaches shook their heads in disbelief. Several of the Thomson fans, meanwhile, seemed stunned, too.
Those were just a few of the emotions that spilled out following Thomson High's 5-4 region baseball loss to the visiting Richmond Hill Wildcats at the Thomson field last Friday night.
Saturday was a different story, as Thomson pulled out a big region victory over Liberty County, 4-2 in Hinesville.
Thomson was scheduled to play Elbert County on Wednesday and slated to host the Washington County Golden Hawks on Friday at 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs' win against Liberty County saw another fine pitching performance from a Thomson player - the second one in as many games. Senior Will Anderson was sensational in going the distance for the Bulldogs. He had struck out six batters, yielded just six hits and gave up no walks.
Thomson struck for seven hits in the game against Liberty County. They were led by Dontavis Brown, who went 2-for-4; Jesse Usry, who went 2-for-4; Zack Washington, who went 1-for-3 with a RBI; and Cody Ewest, who went 1-for-3 with a RBI. Will Tankersley walked twice and scored twice, too.
The Bulldogs also took advantage of seven errors by Liberty County.
In the game against the Richmond Hill Wildcats pushed across three runs in the top half of the seventh inning to take the lead for the first time in the game. The Bulldogs had led most of the game until the Wildcats finally reached Thomson sophomore pitcher Abram Cartledge, who went the distance in a stellar performance. Richmond Hill sent seven batters to the plate in the last inning, collecting a pair of clutch hits - one of which drove in two runs.
Up until that point, Cartledge, getting his first start on the varsity level, had managed to keep the Wildcats to just two runs on seven hits, as Thomson clung to a 4-2 lead after six innings of play in cold, windy conditions. He ended up yielding nine hits, striking out 13 batters, walking four and hitting two with pitches.
Thomson faced a hard-throwing relief pitcher in the sixth and seventh innings, who retired the Bulldogs in order.
Earlier, Thomson, now 1-3 overall and 1-1 in region standings, held a slim 1-0 lead after two innings. Jake Unokur, the Bulldogs' senior shortstop, was hit by a pitch thrown by Richmond Hill starting pitcher J. Thrash, to get things started. Sophomore left fielder Will Tankersley then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Unokur to second base. After senior catcher Jonathan Talkington flied out to left field, Jesse Usry, the right fielder, hit an infield single that led to a throwing miscue and allowed Unokur to score.
In the top of the third, Richmond Hill tied the game. Thomson bounced right back to reclaim the lead, 2-1 in the bottom of the third.
Thomson third baseman Cody Ewest reached on a fielder's choice with two outs before he eventually scored on a RBI single by Unokur. The RBI by Unokur was just one of three for him in that game. During the fifth inning, Unokur came up big again with a two-run single that scored Dontavis "Juicy" Brown, the center fielder and Ewest.
Unfortunately for Thomson, it was their last offensive punch of the game.