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Bulldogs get two shutouts

Thomson High baseball pitchers Abram Cartledge and Nick Rau helped the Bulldogs notch two more wins last week. The victories came over the Washington County Golden Hawks, 11-0, Friday night in Sandersville and 10-0 over the Washington-Wilkes Tigers during Diamond Day at the Thomson field last Saturday.

Cartledge, a lefty, was sensational in the win over Washington County, as he fired a one-hitter against the Golden Hawks in Thomson's second Region 3-AAA game of the season. The only hit given up by Cartledge came in the bottom of the fourth inning -- a single into right field by a Washington County batter.

The win lifts Thomson, the defending region champions, to a 2-0 region record this season. The Bulldogs, now 8-2 overall, have won five consecutive games.

Rau, meanwhile, had no problems in the five inning game that he pitched on Diamond Day against the Washington-Wilkes Tigers.

In the last three games, the Bulldogs have blanked their opponents and outscored them 31-0 in runs.

"It was a good region win for us against Washington County," said Thomson head coach Jason Osborn. "We're still not hitting the ball like we're capable of hitting. We've got to start putting the bat on the ball more often."

Coach Osborn believes his Bulldogs need to learn where the strike zone is better and "be more in an attack mode from the very first pitch."

Defensively, he explained that he is pleased with his team's effort.

"I think we're pretty sound, defensively," said coach Osborn.

He's also pleased with his team's pitching up to this point in the season.

"Cartledge, Rau, Austin and Grimaud have done a good job for us on the mound," added coach Osborn. "We've just got to continue to pitch well here on out."

All of those elements figured into the Bulldogs' overall play right now, coach Osborn said, "I like our chances."

In addition to his sharp defensive skills as the team's number one shortstop and a starting pitcher, Rau has been coming around with his bat, too.

"As a pitcher, he's getting better and better," said coach Osborn. "He's starting to get very aggressive at the plate."

Against Washington County, Rau hit a grand slam homer in the top of the fourth inning. The next day against Washington-Wilkes, Rau clobbered a three-run homer over the right centerfield fence. He now has four homeruns on the season.

The Diamond Day game against the W-W Tigers saw the Bulldogs go up 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning on a solo-homer over the right field fence by Grimaud. Thomson scored two more runs in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-0 lead.

Leftfielder Will Tankersley tripled off the centerfield fence that allowed Josh Jones to race home with the Bulldogs' second run. Jones was used as a pinch-runner for Rau, who earlier had singled. Tankersley scored on a pass ball by the catcher.

Dontavis "Juicy" Brown hit a ball deep to centerfield to start the third. The centerfielder dropped the ball, which allowed Brown to move to second base. Grimaud followed by striking out before third baseman Cody Ewest walked. Cartledge then popped out the third baseman before Rau hit his three-run homer that put Thomson up 6-0.

In the fourth, sophomore catcher Austin Cooper walked, as did second baseman Cody Corbitt. Korey Austin became the pinch-runner for Cooper and scored when senior right fielder Drake Smallwood lined a grounder down the third base line.

Thomson's last three runs came via a three-run homer to centerfield by Brown.

Web posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010

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