It took a little scolding to fire up his team, but Thomson baseball head coach Jason Osborn got the job done, even though it didn't come until the last inning.
That's when his Bulldogs tallied both the tying run and go-ahead run to claim a 5-4 victory over the visiting Washington County Golden Hawks at the Thomson field last Saturday.
"It was luck," coach Osborn told reporters after the game. "I was disappointed in how we played against Washington County. They were the best team out there today. It seems like we've been picking and choosing when we want to play and that's not the way it's done."
He said he was proud of the way his team fought back to win.
Coach Osborn also praised sophomore catcher Austin Cooper, who came through with the winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning.
"It was a nice clutch hit," the head skipper said.
Cooper's bases-loaded RBI single sent senior third baseman Cody Ewest running from third base towards home with the winning run. Earlier that inning, the Bulldogs had managed to tie the game at 4-4 when junior left fielder Will Tankersley scored on a one-out RBI single to right field by Ewest. Following the hit by Ewest, the next two batters, junior first baseman Abram Cartledge and sophomore designated hitter Andy Grimaud, drew intentional walks which loaded the bases.
At the time, Washington County was hoping for a double play or a force out at any base. Cooper made sure such didn't happen when he lined a 3-2 pitch off relief pitcher Dillon Frost.
The win was Thomson's 16th of the season to go with just three losses.
Thomson was scheduled to have played the Grovetown Warriors in Columbia County on Tuesday. The Bulldogs will travel to Dublin this Friday for another key region matchup against the West Laurens Raiders. The game is slated for 6 p.m.
In the game against Washington County, Thomson went up 3-0 in the bottom of the third inning.
Senior outfielder Drake Smallwood led off the third with the first of two infield singles on the day. It was only the second hit of the game for the Bulldogs.
The first hit -- a double -- came off the bat of Ewest in the bottom of the second inning off Washington County starting pitcher Caleb Sanders, who was chased from the mound after only 2 2/3 innings. At the time, Thomson led 3-0.
Smallwood later moved to third base when second baseman Cody Corbitt smashed a double into the right center field gap. Junior starting shortstop and center fielder Dontavis Brown was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Junior starting pitcher Nick Rau then aided his own cause by hitting a two-run bloop single that dropped in front of Washington County centerfielder Dillon Frost before he was called upon to pitch. Grimaud later walked with the bases-loaded, which allowed Brown to score.
The Golden Hawks scored their first run of the game in the top of the fourth to make a 3-1 game.
They eventually knotted the game at 3-3 by scoring two more runs in the top of the fifth. In the sixth, they broke the tie by scoring a lone run to give themselves a 4-3 lead.
Rau, who earned a save the night before in Thomson's 3-2 win over the Liberty County Panthers, worked four complete innings before giving way to Grimaud when the game got tied 3-3.
Rau gave up three runs, eight hits, struck out seven batters and walked one.
Grimaud, meanwhile, gave up just one run on two hits in the three innings he worked. He also struck out four batters and walked two.