Through four innings of play in Game 2 of the second round of the Georgia Class AAA state baseball playoffs between Thomson and Cairo the score was knotted at 3-3 last Wednesday night.
Senior right fielder Drake Smallwood eventually scored the go-ahead run with a head-slide at home plate after junior centerfielder Dontavis Brown roped a double down the right field sideline. Smallwood had reached on an infield hit -- his second single of the game - before scoring all the way from first base. The hit by Brown was his second of the game.
Ironically, it marked the second time in back-to-back games that Smallwood had managed to score on a head-slide In Game 1, which was won by 11-3 by Thomson he scored all the way from first base on a double that was roped into right field by Brown.
The Bulldogs went on to win Game 2 by a 3-run margin, 6-3. They ended up sweeping the series against the Surupmakers, just as they had done against LaGrange in the first-round of the playoffs.
After Smallwood scored to make it a 4-3 game, Thomson scored two more runs in the top of the seventh inning to go up by 3 runs. Senior third baseman Cody Ewest and junior first baseman Abram Cartledge both singled and later scored on a two-run double by sophomore catcher Austin Cooper. It was Cooper's second hit of the game.
Thomson took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Brown, the team's leadoff batter was hit by a pitch. Brown later stole second base and eventually swiped home plate following a sacrifice bunt that got him to third base.
Thomson coach Jason Osborn said he decided to take advantage of Brown's speed by trying to manufacture a run.
"I was glad it worked for us," said coach Osborn.
Cairo tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third off Thomson starting sophomore pitcher Andy Grimaud.
The Bulldogs returned in the top of the fourth and scored two more runs to lead 3-1. Junior leftfielder Will Tankersley, who had homered in Game 1 of the Cairo series, blasted his 11th homer of the season to lead off the inning. Cartledge followed with a walk and later scored on a RBI single by junior second baseman Cody Corbitt.
Grimaud, who began having problems in the beginning of the fifth inning, was replaced by senior relief pitcher Korey Austin. The senior came into the game, knowing full-well what his mission was and accomplished it. He quickly slammed the door shut on Cairo with his favorite pitch -- the slider. During the three innings he worked off the mound, Austin didn't give up a hit and struck out five batters.