EVANS, Ga. --- A win under their belts.
That's what the Thomson High Bulldogs got when they defeated the Statesboro Blue Devils, 7-2, in the first game of a baseball doubleheader during the annual Diamond Day at Evans High School on Saturday. In the second game, however, Thomson lost 14-0 to a team of Bulldogs from Winder-Barrow, a Class AAAA school.
Thomson, now 1-2, will entertain the Harlem Bulldogs in a repeat of their season opener this Thursday at the Thomson field. Harlem defeated Thomson 9-8 in extra innings in that first game.
"We came out and looked real good in the game against Statesboro," said Thomson first year head coach Jason Osborn. "I was pleased with the way we hit the ball and played defense in that game. We also got some very good pitching from (Abram) Cartledge and (Nick) Rau."
It was a much different story against Winder-Barrow's Bulldogs.
"They played well," said coach Osborn. "They simply outplayed us and sometimes that happens. There wasn't a whole lot we could do, because they hit the ball so well."
Thomson was held to just two hits in that five-inning shortened game because of a run rule. Both of those hits came in the top of the first inning, off the bats of centerfielder Dontavis Brown and starting pitcher Andy Grimaud. Brown's hit was a single to left field, while Grimaud's hit was a double deep over the centerfielder's head.
Grimaud, a sophomore, didn't fair so well in his starting role as pitcher. And neither did pitchers for Effingham County in the previous game when they played Winder-Barrow. The Bulldogs defeated Effingham 12-2 in six innings.
Thomson's Korey Austin, a senior, relieved Grimaud in the second with two outs and Thomson trailing 10-0.
Against Statesboro, Thomson wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Grimaud, who played first base in the game against the Blue Devils, and senior third baseman Cody Ewest drew back-to-back walks off Statesboro pitcher Todd Cone.
Rau, the junior shortstop, followed by striking out before Cartledge, a junior southpaw pitcher, blasted a three-run homer over the left field fence.
It was Cartledge's first at-bat of the season and gave the Bulldogs a quick 3-0 lead.
Statesboro managed to score their two runs of the game in the second and third innings.
During that same period, Thomson struck for four more runs - three in the second and another one in the third.
Sophomore catcher Austin Cooper led off the second inning by lining a sharp single into centerfield before junior right fielder Jesse Usry walked and second baseman Cody Corbitt reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for the Bulldogs. Cooper eventually scored when Brown walked. Usry and Corbitt scored later when Grimaud reached on two-base miscue by the Statesboro shortstop.
Thomson's last run scored on a two-out double by junior leftfielder Will Tankersley in the third inning. Tankersley raced home when Cooper followed and reached on a throwing error by the shortstop.