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'Dogs sweep into state semifinals

Phillip Anderson and the Thomson bats made it too far to possibly lose like this.

Finally pitching with the lead thanks to a Jesse Usry RBI single, Anderson had to deal with the tying run on second and the winning run at first with only one out.

But the baserunners got no closer.

Anderson got a pop up and a groundout to close the second game, as the Thomson baseball team came back to win in Tuesday's home doubleheader sweep of Allatoona, 12-2 in six innings in the first and 5-4 in eight innings in the second, to advance to the Class AAA state semifinals.

"I had a feeling it was about to happen," Anderson said of the rally. "There's not a time where we never hit."

Anderson went from almost being pulled to the winning pitcher, as Thomson rallied after Allatoona plated four runs in the bottom of the third to go up 4-0.

Those were all the runs Anderson surrendered, however, as he started to dominate with his off-speed pitches to end the game with five shutout innings in a row and give the offense a chance.

Though the Bulldogs stranded a total of five base- runners in the third and the fourth innings, the runs soon arrived when Dontavis "Juicy" Brown singled in Cody Corbitt and Will Tankersley tripled home Brown, as Thomson (28-2) scored twice in the fifth.

Abe Cartledge crushed the first pitch he saw in the sixth for a solo shot to make it 4-3, and in the next inning, Usry got his first clutch hit of the game with a solo shot of his own to tie it at 4-all.

Then, in the eighth, with Corbitt on second, Usry delivered again, this time with a single on a 1-2 pitch as Thomson finally got the lead.

"The one over the fence was good, but the one back up the middle was even better," Thomson coach Jason Osborn said about Usry. "He deserves it."

In the first game, the Region 3-AAA champions scored at least 10 runs in a game for the sixth consecutive time, as the Bulldogs put up at least one run in the first four innings in the easy win.

Leadoff hitter Brown and Anderson both had three hits in the first game, with Brown getting a single on a bloop in the first to begin the blowout.

The initial run came around to score a little later, as the Buccaneers (27-7) committed their first of five errors in the opening contest when the Allatoona first baseman dropped a throw from third.

The visitors' errors mounted from there, whether it was dropping a fly ball, letting the ball fall in safely around two defenders or losing the ball while taking it out of the glove.

Thomson took advantage of the blunders by smashing home runs, as Brown hit a four-bagger for a three-run blast in the third and Nick Rau crushed a 2-0 pitch to left for a three-run home run of his own.

On the mound, Cartledge, who also had an unassisted double play at first in the second game when he caught a bunted ball for one out and dove to the bag for the second, often made quick work of the Allatoona hitters, as he got 0-1 counts on the first seven batters and allowed only five hits, with none going for extra bases.

Back-to-back singles in the third and an error by Brown -- the ball got under his glove when he tried to field the hit -- helped the Buccaneers score two, but Cartledge gave up only one more hit the rest of the game.

Web posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011

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