EVANS, Ga. - The Thomson baseball team won a pair of thrilling games over Effingham and South Effingham during the Evans Summer Classic last Friday.
In the first game of the day against Effingham that was played at the Lakeside High field, Thomson won in a dramatic 5-4 fashion. Jesse Usry drove in two runs, including the winning one, when he smashed a double into the left center field gap in the bottom of the seventh inning. During that inning, Thomson erupted for three runs.
Later that night, Thomson defeated South Effingham 9-6 in a similar ending. Again, Thomson rallied for three runs in the last inning before pulling out the rain-shortened win in the fourth inning.
Thomson's summer league record moved to 4-2-1 following those victories. They were scheduled to play host to Jefferson County on Tuesday.
It marked the first time that the team has been with their new head coach, Jason Osborn. The new coach replaces legendary prep baseball coach Terry Holder, who recently retired.
Coach Osborn praised his players following their win over South Effingham County.
"I was real pleased with the way several of you stepped up and played in these two games," Coach Osborn told the team after rain forced the stoppage of the game at the Evans High field. About two inches of rain fell there in less than 45 minutes.
Thomson jumped out to a 3-0 lead over South Effingham and their new head coach, Ron Womack, in the top of the first inning.
Thomson center fielder Dontavis Brown led off with a single before third baseman Cody Ewest blasted his second of two homeruns in as many games on the day. The homer sailed high over the left field fence. One out later, Nick Rau, the shortstop, belted a solo-homer.
"It was very special, because this is where my Dad played high school baseball and hit homeruns," Rau said.
South Effingham scored their first run off Thomson pitcher Andy Grimaud in the bottom of the first.
Thomson came back to score six more runs over their next three at-bats. In the second, Nic Wood hit a single and later scored on a RBI triple by Grimaud. Thomson scored two more runs in the third. Left fielder Will Tankersley lined a two-out triple to the warning track in center field before scoring on a pass ball. Usry then drew a walk before scoring on a RBI double by Wood.
South Effingham bounced right back to tie the game, scoring five runs on four hits in the bottom of the third.
Thomson's big inning came in the fourth when they broke a 6-6 tie, scoring three more runs after two outs. The biggest damage was delivered from the bat of Tankersley, who hit a double that drove in two of those three runs.
In the first game of the day against Effingham County, the winning pitcher for Thomson turned out to be Abram Cartledge, who, like Grimaud, pitched well.
The Thomson team trailed 4-2 after three innings of play. Thomson's first two runs of the game came on a two-run homer by Ewest. Left fielder Drake Smallwood, a rising senior like Ewest, earlier had reached first base by beating out an infield single, before Ewest launched the homer over the center field fence.
Thomson was held scoreless and hitless over the next three innings.
The seventh inning was much different, as Thomson struck for three runs - Usry's big hit being the game-winner.
1) ths baseball1 -- cutline: Thomson High's new head baseball Coach Jason Osborn talks with his team after their two wins in summer league play in Evans last Friday night. Above, he appears to have the undivided attention of several of his players, including catcher Austin Cooper, holding his bat.