Hamrick gets win No. 500, THS makes title game of Gulf Coast Classic

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

GULF SHORES – Thompson had an incredible run during the 2018 Gulf Coast Classic as the Warriors made a run all the way to the championship game against Brighton High School on Thursday, March 29, but nothing overshadowed the excitement of this year’s squad being a part of history.

In the semifinal game against tournament host Gulf Shores High School earlier that same morning, Thompson head baseball coach Pat Hamrick picked up his 500th career win as a head coach with a 13-5 win.

It was a special moment not just for the head coach, but for a team that could help him accomplish such a monumental task as they put together five consecutive wins in the tournament to make the historic occasion happen.

While Thompson lost the championship game by a final of 7-1, it didn’t cut short what the team was able to accomplish with wins of 4-0 against Smiths Station, 3-2 against Beech (Tenn.), 11-3 against McKeel Academy and 4-2 against Yorkville (IL) eading the Warriors to the semifinal game against Gulf Shores.

In that game against the host team, Thompson scored 13 runs on 13 hits and the offensive explosion started in the bottom of the first inning.

After giving up one run in the top of the first, the Warriors came to the plate ready to strike in the bottom half.

All of the action came with two outs in the inning, as Myles Brown and Nick Freeman started the game with fly outs.

After those two outs, Thompson was able to get two singles from J.C. Parker and Grayton Arrington and three doubles from Sawyer Pate, Breydon Edomondson and Carson Hobbs to drive in four opening-innings run and take a 4-1 lead.

Gulf Shores cut its deficit to one run in the top of the third with a two-run double to make the score 4-3.

The Warriors answered back immediately in the bottom half of the inning. Chris Miranda started it off with a one-out single before Arrington cranked a two-run shot over the left field wall to put Thompson back on top by three runs at 6-3.

In a game that had become back and forth, Gulf Shores answered back shortly after in the top of the fifth thanks to a couple of errors by the Warriors. The second error in the inning allowed the host team to get within a run yet again cutting the deficit to 6-5.

Thompson, however, put the lid on the game in the bottom half of the inning with another two-out rally.

With two ground outs and a walk to start the inning, Thompson had a runner on second with two outs. That was followed by two more walks, before Colby McClain lined a ball to center field that fell for a two-run double.

One batter later, Brown took the second pitch he saw and singled to center field to drive in McClain for the 10-5 advantage.

The Warriors got two more singles in a row from Freeman and Parker to extend their lead to 12-5 at the end of the fifth inning. Thompson added its 13th run of the game in the bottom of the sixth when Alex Pearman hit an RBI-single to create the final score of 13-5.

Arrington led the way at the plate going 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Parker was the only other player with multiple hits as he went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored.

McClain and Edmondson added multiple RBIs with three and two, respectively, while 11 different players had at least one hit in the win.

Andrew South got the start on the mound and went three innings allowing three runs on five hits while striking out two. Will Morris finished off the final four innings and allowed four hits and two runs while striking out four.

Thompson is now 16-12 overall heading into the final month of the season.