The Thomson Wildcats are on the prowl again. And there's nothing seemingly getting in the way of this traveling youth baseball team.
Already, head coach Robert Brown says the team has qualified to play in the 2010 World Series in Orlando, Fla., in July. Two years ago, when the team played in a younger age division, they finished runners-up in the World Series. They also played in the World Series this summer.
The team's fall season recently began at Riverview Park in North Augusta, S.C., with the Thomson Wildcats winning four games over a two-day period. It automatically earned them a berth in next year's World Series.
"We are off to a great start," coach Brown wrote in an e-mail.
In Game No. 1 of the recent tournament against the Georgia Lightening from Evans, the Wildcats won 8-0.
Leading the assault for the Wildcats was Brian Smith and Austin Granger -- both going 2-for-2. Morgan Hyde also did a fine job at the plate, going 2-for-3. The Wildcats hit the Evans team with ease, collecting 11 hits.
Thomson's Cody Brown was the winning pitcher, while Hyde finished the game in a relief capacity. The duo only allowed the Evans team two hits. Together, they struck out four and yielded only one walk.
In Game No. 2, the Wildcats defeated the South Carolina Lightening from Graniteville by a score of 4-3.
Hyde and Whit Newton led the way -- each going perfect with the bat at 3-for-3. The Thomson team again hit the ball well, collecting eight hits in the game. The winning pitcher was Newton. Granger got the credit for the save. Newton and Granger combined for 10 strikeouts, while yielding four hits and two walks.
Game No. 3 also was won by the Wildcats. They defeated the Carolina Hustle from Clearwater by a score of 4-3.
Newton and Granger were again the leading hitters. Newton went 3-for-3, while Granger went 2-for-3. The Thomson team smashed 12 base hits against the Carolina Hustle, with Granger as pitcher. Cody Brown later worked 2 and 2/3 innings before giving way to Newton, who earned the save. The trio of pitchers combined to strikeout five batters, while giving up only three hits and four walks.
In the championship game, the Thomson Wildcats defeated the North Augusta Stingers 9-1.
Smith and Brown went 3-for-3 to lead the team offensively, while Newton went 2-for-3. The Wildcats tagged the Stingers for 10 hits.
Newton was the winning pitcher, striking out six batters and yielding one hit with no walks.