What a fall baseball season for the Thomson Wildcats, as they went undefeated in every one of the tournaments they competed in while recording victories over 11 teams.
"The fall season was by far our most successful, winning all three tournaments that we entered," remarked Thomson Wildcats head coach Robert Brown. "The team hit a staggering .447 during the fall season."
In their latest tournament, which was played in North Augusta, S.C., the Thomson Wildcats, a traveling baseball team out of Thomson, defeated the Carolina Hustle 14-6 in Game 1.
"We pounded out 12 hits as a team," coach Brown said.
Austin Granger led the victors with three hits. He was followed by Cade Brown, Duncan Adams and Kyle Edwards with two each.
Granger also turned out to be the winning pitcher. He relieved Whit Newton, who started the game. Cody Brown was the closer. Together, the Wildcats pitchers yielded only two hits, while recording four strikeouts.
In Game 2, Thomson walloped the East Georgia Sluggers 17-2.
Thomson batters collected 17 hits in that game. Morgan Hyde, Cody Brown and Whit Newton all had three hits each.
The winning pitcher was Hyde, while Edwards came on in relief. Combined, they gave up only two hits, three walks and struck out seven batters.
Game 3 saw the Thomson Wildcats defeat the East Georgia Sluggers 7-4.
Hyde, Cody Brown, Newton and Granger all collected at least one hit in that game.
The winning pitcher was Brian Smith. Edwards was credited with a save. Smith and Edwards combined to give up only five hits and three walks, while striking out seven batters.
In Game 4, the Thomson team downed the Palmetto Pounders by the identical score of 7-4.
The Wildcats tagged the Pounders for 10 hits. Smith and Granger had two hits each for the winners.
Cody Brown was the winning pitcher. Granger worked some in relief, along with Hyde, who earned the save. Brown, Granger and Hyde gave up only four hits and four walks, while striking out six batters.
Game 5 saw the Thomson Wildcats edge the Carolina Hustle 11-10.
Smith and Newton each had three hits in that game. As a team, the Wildcats smashed 12 hits.
The winning pitcher turned out to be Hyde. He came on in relief of Granger, who started the game. Cody Brown also worked some on the mound. Combined, the Thomson pitchers gave up a total of 14 hits -- gave up no walks and struck out three batters.
Going into the last inning, the game was tied with a Carolina Hustle player threatening to score from third base with two outs.
Thomson second baseman Cade Brown made the defensive play of the game when he made a diving catch and, while on his knees, threw the runner out.
"It was like an ESPN highlight catch," coach Brown said.
In the bottom of the sixth, Newton led off with a hit and later stole second base. Granger followed by grounding out, which allowed Newton to get to third base. Newton was forced to remain there as Tanner Ketchum hit a comebacker to the pitcher.
With two outs and Newton on the corner, Kyle Edwards hit a scorching line drive that the shortstop couldn't handle. As a result, Newton scored the winning run and gave the Wildcats the championship.