THOMSON --- The Bulldogs brought the bats in both games, but the second contest belonged to Phillip Anderson.
The Thomson baseball team survived a high-scoring game one, 12-11, and used an Anderson pitching gem to win the second game, 11-0 in six innings, in Wednesday's doubleheader home sweep against Eastside. The Bulldogs advanced to the third round of the Class AAA state tournament.
Thomson showed its offensive prowess in the doubleheader as Dontavis "Juicy" Brown hit two home runs and Anderson tossed a shutout in the second game, but the home side still had to hang on in the first game.
"It feels really good," Brown said about his two homers. "It's the first time I've ever done that in my career."
After falling behind by three in the first game, Thomson responded in the first two innings as the Region 3-AAA champions grabbed a 10-3 lead and appeared to be ahead comfortably.
Will Tankersley got the scoring started with one swing in the bottom of the first as his three-run blast made it 3-3. Nick Rau followed with a triple and starting pitcher Abe Cartledge gave the Bulldogs the lead for good with a sacrifice fly.
Tankersley made the advantage even larger in the second with a two-run double to the wall as he drove in five runs in the opening game.
Later in the second inning, catcher Austin Cooper gave Thomson three more runs when he crushed a pitch for a home run to make it 10-3.
Though Rau hit a solo home run and Brown added an RBI single in the fourth, the Bulldogs' offense struggled after Eastside brought in Drew Buckhault to pitch. Buckhault came in with two outs in the second and lasted the rest of the game, allowing just those two fourth-inning runs.
But those two runs turned out to be huge as the Eagles knocked around Cartledge in the third and fourth.
Three RBI hits in the third and a solo shot in the fourth helped force a pitching change as Thomson (26-2) went with Rau up 10-8 and needing 11 outs.
In the top of the fifth and the score now 12-8 after Rau and Brown drove in those two fourth-inning runs, the Eagles' Keith Buckhault smashed his second home run of the game as his three-run shot brought it to 12-11. However, though it was the seventh home run of the first game, it was the last time a runner crossed home in the opening game as the Bulldogs kept the score there despite dealing with two baserunners in both the sixth and seventh innings.
In the seventh, with an infield single and a walk putting the leading run on base with two out, Rau got a groundout to short to get the force just in time and clinch the win.
In the second game, Anderson used his slider to fool hitters as he held the Eagles scoreless.
When Eastside did threaten to score, the pitcher came through with clutch outs and also got help from his defense, as Jesse Usry made a diving catch in the third.
Usry also showed his hitting prowess, as he had fours hits in the second game while hitting at the No. 2 spot in the order.
Leadoff hitter Brown added two hits as well, with his both leaving the park as he connected for a pair of three-run home runs. Rau later hit a home run in the sixth as Thomson won by the run rule.
In the sixth, Eastside tried to get on the board, but Anderson got two groundouts to keep the Eagles scoreless after dealing with the bases loaded and only one out.
After seeing how well the Eagles could hit the ball and how close the first game was, Anderson was focused and completed the shutout.
"I did what I had to do," Anderson said.
See a photo gallery from the game.