HARLEM, Ga. - Cody Ewest blasted a two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to lift the Thomson Bulldogs to a 7-2 victory over the Harlem Bulldogs in summer league baseball action last Friday night.
"I'm seeing the ball pretty well right now," said Ewest after belting his fourth homer of summer league play.
The win wasn't as easy to come by as the score might indicate, though.
The reason: the game started out being a pitcher's duel between Thomson's Andy Grimaud and Harlem's Derrick Beasley.
The southpaw from Harlem managed to strike out five batters during the first three innings before giving up a run to Thomson in the top of the third. Grimaud, meanwhile, was just as effective, fanning four Harlem batters during that time frame, including striking out the side in the bottom of the third. Grimaud, a rising sophomore, didn't allow Harlem a run until the fifth.
Thomson took a 1-0 lead in the third after Beasley struck out right fielder Jesse Usry and second baseman Josh Jones. Center fielder Dontavis Brown then drew a walk before stealing second base. Brown later scored on a RBI single to right field by Grimaud.
In the top of the fourth, Thomson scored two more runs.
After Phillip Anderson flied out to the Harlem center fielder, shortstop Nick Rau hit a line drive into left field. He later moved to second base on a single by left fielder Will Tankerlsey. Rau eventually scored on a RBI double by Abram Cartledge. Catcher Austin Cooper drove Tankersley home with a RBI sacrifice fly to right field that increased the Bulldogs' lead to 3-0.
In the fifth, Harlem pushed across their first run of the game. A couple of errors by Thomson paved the way for the run. Thomson ended any further threat by Harlem when they turned a double-play.
Thomson got that run back in the sixth. Anderson led off the inning by reaching on a throwing miscue by the Harlem third baseman. He eventually moved around to third base on pass balls before scoring on a RBI sacrifice fly to right field by Tankersley.
Ewest provided Thomson with three more runs in the last inning with his three-run homer over the left field fence. Grimaud, who earlier reached after being hit by a pitch, scored on the play.
Brown, who singled to right field earlier, stole home plate on a call by Thomson Assistant Head Coach Aaron Hall.
"He (Brown) did a good job of executing," said Coach Hall. "It was a good situation for us to try to steal against a left handed pitcher."
Coach Hall called the win over Harlem "a confidence booster" for his team.
During a meeting with his players after the game, Coach Hall said, "I'm proud of you. You're learning how to finish teams off. You did what I asked you to do."