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Relief pitcher helps Thomson advance in playoffs


That's what Korey Austin provided himself, teammates and fans, as he helped the Thomson Bulldogs to a 6-3 victory in Game 2 and a sweep of the Cairo Surupmakers in the second round of the Georgia Class AAA baseball state playoffs at the Thomson field last Wednesday night.

"It was super good," remarked Austin in reference to his sensational relief pitching performance. "My slider was really effective."

Austin came into the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning and the game tied at 3-3.

The pressure at the time didn't seem to bother Austin one little bit. In fact, he seemed to relish the opportunity.

He brought a little magic with him when he stepped onto the mound to relieve starting pitcher Andy Grimaud. That magic came in the form of a special pitch, known as the slider.

The slider pitch, which Austin has learned to throw well, was responsible for Cairo batters striking out five of their last nine-at-bats.

Thomson coach Jason Osborn said he "was very proud" of Austin's performance.

"I was tickled to death for that kid," said coach Osborn. "That boy has worked hard for four years. He just made some memories."

Austin's performance allowed the Thomson Bulldogs to advance to the quarterfinals of the state playoffs against the Gainesville Red Elephants.

In the fifth, Austin fanned the first two batters he faced, Matthew Ferguson and Donnie Baxter. He got the next batter, Connor Butler, the designated hitter, to ground-out to first baseman Abram Cartledge to put an end to the threat mounted by the Surupmakers.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Austin picked up where he left off. He struck out two of the three batters he faced, Alex Baxter and Chris Layton and got the other batter, Chas Funderburke to fly-out to centerfielder Dontavis Brown. He returned in the seventh, getting Cairo hitter Trey Kimmel to fly out before he struck out Jonathan Moore and Tyler Steeele on a ground-out to junior shortstop Nick Rau, who quickly threw the ball to Cartledge at first base for the final out of the game.

Web posted on Thursday, May 20, 2010

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