HINESVILLE, Ga. -- It was one of those nail-biting baseball games for coaches, players and fans alike of the Thomson High School Bulldogs when they played the Liberty County Panthers last Friday night.
But it the end, the Bulldogs prevailed 3-2.
Thomson is now 7-1 in Region 3-AAA standings and 16-3 overall. They were ranked No. 8 in the latest Class AAA state coaches' poll.
It marked the second time this season that Thomson had defeated Liberty County. The first time around, the Bulldogs won 4-3 in a game played in Thomson.
"We didn't hit the ball like we are capable of hitting," said Thomson head coach Jason Osborn. "We've got to start playing better as a team."
All three of the runs scored by Thomson came in the top of the first inning. As a team, the Bulldogs collected only two hits -- both doubles. It was the Bulldogs' lowest hit total in a game this season. And both of them came off the bat of junior centerfielder Dontavis Brown, the leadoff hitter.
Thomson's runs were scored by Brown, junior leftfielder Will Tankersley and junior shortstop Nick Rau.
Abram Cartledge, who has been Thomson's ace pitcher all season, started the game. Cartledge a junior southpaw gave up two runs on five hits -- both runs crossing the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two-outs and the bases loaded, Rau was came in to pitch in relief. He managed to get the only batter he faced for the third out -- thus putting an end to another close game.
Cartledge picked up the win, while Rau was credited with the save. Cartledge struck out seven batters and walked seven. He faced a total of 34 batters in the seven innings he worked.
In a separate game, which was played last Wednesday against the Washington-Wilkes Tigers in Washington, the Bulldogs came out on top, 14-10.
Thomson batters assaulted W-W pitchers for 14 hits and took advantage of three miscues by the Tigers en route to another victory.
The Bulldogs also clobbered six homeruns in that game -- three of which were launched by Rau.
The other homers were by Brown, Tankersley and senior third baseman Cody Ewest. It was the most homeruns ever hit in a single-game by the Bulldogs in school history.
Getting the win on the mound was Thomson senior pitcher Korey Austin. Four other pitchers also worked some in that game. They included Andy Grimaud, Dontavis Brown, Nick Rau and Abram Cartledge.