The Thomson Middle School Bulldogs are the Super 10 champions, again. It was the sixth consecutive baseball championship for the school.
The latest title was captured in a 7-1 victory last Saturday at Sweetwater Park near Thomson with Thomson Middle defeating the GMC Bulldogs 7-1 in the championship game. The win earned Thomson another undefeated season. Earlier that day, Thomson defeated Putnam County 13-3 to advance to the title game.
"This is our second year undefeated and I never would have thought that," Thomson Coach Brett Chalker said. "This is a good group of boys and they've worked hard."
The first game, against Putnam County, was never in doubt. Thomson scored five runs in the first inning with shortstop Gunn McClure picking up two RBI with a bases-loaded single. Hunter Bragg then drove McClure home with a double.
While Thomson bats were still heating up, Thomson starting pitcher Jared Holliman was busy shutting out Putnam County. He was forced to leave in the third inning after pulling a ligament in his elbow. It came on a pitch that struck out Putnam's Tre'shawn Richardson. Bragg came in to finish the inning.
In the fourth inning the Warriors, facing the mercy rule down 11-0, turned to their base running to keep them in the game. Leadoff hitter Javonne Walker got things started by reaching on an error by Thomson third baseman Clay Blasingame. Walker then stole second and third bases and scored when Thomson catcher Trevor Stephens threw down to second in an attempt to get Putnam's Darrel Powers stealing. He went on to steal third and scored when the throw got passed Blasingame into left field. Demetrius Wood then tripled and scored on a wild pitch, keeping the Warriors alive another inning.
Thomson leadoff batter Torrie Battle drew a walk and scored when second baseman Hank Doupe' hit a ground ball that got past both the Putnam shortstop and left fielder, allowing Doupe' to reach second. Doupe' went on to score on a single by Blasingame, ending the game on the mercy rule.
The championship game turned out to be much more exciting. Thomson proved to be the dominant team once again. GMC was unable to overcome Thomson starting pitcher Clay Blasingame, who allowed only one run on five hits, while striking out 11 batters and walking two in the six innings he worked.
Thomson struck first in the battle of the Bulldogs. In the bottom of the first, Battle tripled on the first pitch of the game and scored on Blasingame's double to left.
GMC threatened in the second inning after Blasingame walked Billy Whitlock before Hunter Harding and pitcher Drew Colwell followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases with no outs. Blasingame then buckled down striking out Dalton Threat before the next batter lined out to third. He struck out designated hitter Drew Reese, thus ending a potential rally.
Thomson scored again in the bottom half of the inning. Austin Whitehouse singled. Shortstop Gunn McClure then ripped a single to center, which moved Whitehouse to second. Catcher Trevor Stephens then hit a RBI single to left field that gave Thomson a lead of 2-0.
GMC answered in the third when catcher Mike Cornett singled to left off Blasingame then stole second and third bases and scored when the throw got past Whitehouse at third, allowing GMC's only run.
Thomson loaded the bases in the third with singles from Blasingame and Whitehouse and a walk to Jarquavious Heath with one out. GMC pitcher Drew Colwell then got Bragg to pop out and McClure to ground out.
GMC threatened for the last time in the third inning. Thomson right fielder Wykey Lane made one of the best defensive plays of the game, as he threw out the runner at the plate with Stephens putting the tag on the runner.
"Wykey Lane throwing that kid out at the plate gave us life and energy," Coach Chalker said.
That life was good for five runs in the break through the third inning for Thomson that included a towering solo-homerun by Blasingame and a two-run single by Bragg that put Thomson up 7-1.
Thomson never looked back. Blasingame allowed only one base runner in the fifth and struck out all three hitters he faced in the sixth, giving Thomson their sixth Super 10 championship in six years.