RICHMOND HILL, Ga. -- The baseball team at Thomson High School are as sky-high these days as they have been all season. And there's good reason. For the Bulldogs just notched a pair of Region 3-AAA wins in a row. And to top it off, both of those games were played on the road.
One of their latest victories was an 8-4 win over the Richmond Hill Wildcats last Saturday in Richmond Hill. It marked the second win in as many days for the Bulldogs, who traveled to Milledgeville and handed the Baldwin Braves a 12-3 loss last Friday night.
This week, Thomson has three games. They played Washington-Wilkes on Tuesday and will entertain Liberty County in a crucial game on Friday night at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs will travel to Sandersville to take on the Washington County Golden Hawks on Saturday. Game time is set for 1 p.m.
"The Bulldogs are for real," remarked Thomson senior pitcher Will Anderson after he went the distance against Richmond Hill. Anderson, who is the team's starting first baseman when he's not on the mound, said he feels good about the way the Thomson team is playing right now. "We've really started picking it up."
Going into the bottom of the last inning, Thomson held an 8-2 lead. The first two batters that Anderson faced in the seventh, he struck out. He then got into a little trouble by walking leadoff hitter Tyler Mitchell before Kevin Wilson hit an RBI single left field. He then walked Stephen Boaen before Cody Rushing reached on a miscue by Thomson third baseman Cody Ewest which allowed Wilson to race home.
Anderson managed to get the next batter, John Johnson to hit a ground ball that senior second baseman Zack Washington charged nicely and fired over to sophomore first baseman Phillip Anderson to finally get the third out.
"I got a little ahead of myself -- thinking the game was over when it wasn't," Anderson said. "I wasn't out of gas, though."
During his seven innings of work, he struck out seven batters, walked five and yielded six hits.
After the game, Anderson was commended for his contribution to the team by Thomson Head Coach Terry Holder.
"He really stepped up for us against Richmond Hill," Coach Holder said. "He lost his focus a little bit there towards the end, but I thought, overall, he did another fine job for us."
The Bulldogs went up 1-0 in the top of the second inning following a leadoff double into left field by sophomore right fielder Will Tankersley. He later moved to third base on a pass ball by Richmond Hill catcher Cody Rushing. Tankersley eventually scored when senior left fielder Jake Unokur grounded out to first base.
Richmond Hill came back in the bottom of that inning to tie the game at 1-1.
In the fourth, Thomson scored two more runs to take a 3-1 lead -- one they never relinquished. Austin Cooper, a freshman designated hitter, reached on an error before moving to second base when Unokur got onboard by an error, too. The bases became loaded when Washington drew a walk. Sophomore center fielder Dontavis "Juicy" Brown followed by reaching on another error that allowed Cooper to score. Unokur later crossed the plate on an RBI bloop single into right field by Ewest.
Thomson blew the game open in the fifth with three more runs to take a 6-2 lead. Tankersley led off with a single and later scored on an RBI sacrifice fly to center field by Washington. Also scoring runs were Cooper and Unokur.
The Bulldogs scored two more runs on two hits in the seventh. The hits came off the bats of Brown, an RBI single; and Ewest, an RBI double.
In the game against Baldwin County last Friday, Thomson collected 12 runs on 12 hits despite having committed four errors against the Braves.
The Bulldogs were again supported by good pitching. Abram Cartledge, a strong sophomore lefty won the game, going five innings. Cartledge struck out six batters, walked six and gave up just one hit and three runs.
Thomson freshmen pitchers Andy Grimaud and Austin Cooper finished out the game, working an inning each.
Tankersley led the Bulldogs' attack, collecting three RBI on a big hit. Several other Thomson players collected two RBI in the game. They included: Ewest, Nick Rau, Phillip Anderson and Grimaud.
Brown and Cartledge each had two hits for the Bulldogs.