Will Anderson was on the money again.
And so were his teammates - the Thomson High School Bulldogs - as they defeated the Baldwin Braves 14-4 in baseball action at the Thomson field last Saturday.
The day before, Thomson traveled to Waynesboro where they walloped the Burke County Bears 26-1 - thanks in part to an explosive 18-run fifth inning. Sophomore Abram Cartledge, a southpaw, was the winning pitcher.
The Bulldogs close out their regular season schedule this week with home games against Lakeside (Tuesday), Aquinas (Wednesday) and Burke County at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Thomson can clinch the Region 3-AAA Baseball Championship with a win over Burke County on Thursday. It would mark the first time that the Bulldogs have won a region title in baseball since 1969, when future NFL legend Ray Guy was a member of the Diamond Dogs.
"I'm proud of the way this team is hitting, fielding and pitching right now, but the season isn't over," said Thomson Head Coach Terry Holder after his team's win over Baldwin last weekend. "We've got to continue to do what we've been doing through the playoffs. Our kids are really playing hard for the people of McDuffie County and it would be real nice to see a lot of people turn out for the game on Thursday to see them play for a region championship. It's been a long time since Thomson has had a chance to play for a region baseball title. It would be real special for our kids and this community, if they win it."
Thomson secured a shot at the region crown with the win over Baldwin at home last Saturday.
"We hit the ball against Burke County," said Coach Holder. "We didn't get any cheap hits. And we came back the next day and hit the ball hard again against Baldwin. We've been hitting the ball real well lately and that's pleasing to see."
The win over the Baldwin Braves automatically assures Thomson of getting a chance to host the first-round of the Class AAA State Playoffs.
The Bulldogs could not have gotten where they are without a lot of hard work and no one realizes that more than Coach Holder.
The legendary baseball skipper said he's been pleased with the team's defensive play.
"Our infield defense has really improved a lot since the beginning of the season," added Coach Holder. "We knew we had a pretty good outfield, but now our infield is coming on strong, too. It helps make us a more solid team."
He's also pleased with the pitching performances of Cartledge and senior Will Anderson.
"Both of them have really helped us this season and won several games," said Coach Holder, who praised Assistant Coaches Aaron Hall, Jason Osborn and Wes Harrell for their help in making the team stronger this season. "Those guys have really put in a lot of time to helping these kids get better and they deserve a lot of credit."Will Anderson, a strong right-hander, won his sixth game of the season last Saturday. He worked all five innings of the shortened game, due to the 10-run rule. During that time, he allowed four runs, while yielding six hits. He struck out five batters and walked one.
"Will, I thought, gave us another solid pitching performance," said Coach Holder.
Thomson struck for seven runs on four hits while sending 11 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning. First baseman Phillip Anderson was responsible for driving in the first run with a bases-loaded walk.Will Tankersley, the left fielder, whose bat has been red-hot of late, then laced a two-run double down the left field line to make it a 3-0 game. Shortstop Nick Rau followed with a triple down the same line that scored two more runs. Cartledge later roped a single down that side to drive in Rau.
In the fifth, Thomson scored six more runs to win the game and exit early. After Dontavis "Juicy" Brown reached on a one-out walk, Will Anderson aided his own cause with a two-run homer over the center field fence. Cartledge later hit a bases-loaded triple that ended the game.