Thompson hangs on for 4-3 win against rival Pelham

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

PELHAM – A three-run third inning and a late run in the top of the sixth ended up being enough for the Thompson Warriors in a road rivalry matchup at Pelham on Tuesday, March 12.

Thompson, who came into the game off a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Helena that snapped a five-game winning streak, fell behind 1-0 through two innings of the game, but put three on the board in the top of the third and then one insurance run in the top of the sixth before hanging on for a 4-3 victory.

After the Warriors (7-7) went down in order in the first two innings, Pelham (4-8) was able to put the game’s first run on the board in the bottom of the second despite not picking up a hit.

A walk from Phillip Duke was followed by steal before a sac bunt moved him over to third. After another walk put runners on the corners for Jackson Weaver, who hit a ground ball to second base, but an error allowed Duke to score for a 1-0 lead before Jacob Shumate was eventually thrown out trying to advance to third.

Down 1-0, the Warriors put together a big answer in the top of the third.

After a dropped third strike allowed Will Kies to reach base safely, Josh Mehmen singled to put two baserunners aboard. That was then quickly followed by an error on a bunt that allowed Saxon Klinner to reach base safely and load the bases with no outs.

A sac fly from Carson Hobbs drove in one of those runners and kept the bases loaded. That allowed a walk from Nick Freeman to drive in the second run of the inning, before another error by the catcher allowed the third run to cross the plate for a 3-1 advantage.

The Panthers needed an answer now, and in the bottom of the fourth, they tried to do so. After two walks and an error loaded the bases with no outs, a hit batter brought in a run and made the score 3-2, while keeping the bases loaded.

In a tough spot, Breydon Edmondson was then able to completely flip the script and lock in on the mound. He forced a fly out, then picked up a strikeout and a ground out to close the inning without allowing another run, as Pelham left the bases loaded.

With their lead cut to one run, the Warriors wanted to add an insurance run knowing how competitive the game was and that Pelham wouldn’t go down without a fight.

In the top of the sixth, nearing the end of the game, Thompson did just what it needed to. After a walk from Grayton Arrington and a single from Harrison Poplin to lead off the inning, the Warriors had two on with no outs.

Two batters later with one out, Kies stepped to the plate and gave Thompson the much needed insurance run it needed with an RBI-single to put the Warriors up 4-2.

Pelham went 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the sixth, but in the home half of the final inning, Thompson’s insurance run proved pivotal.

With two outs in the inning, Carter Reid walked to give the Panthers a chance. That was then followed by a double from Kasey Clark to not only bring home Reid, but also put the game-tying run at second and the game-winning run to the plate.

An error then allowed Clark to advance to third and runners to be put on the corners, but relief pitcher Andrew South then struck out the final batter of the game to close out the 4-3 victory.

Edmondson got the start on the mound and went 6 2/3 innings before South came in to get the final out. Edmondson continued a strong season by picking up eight strike outs and allowing just one hit. While he was out there, the team gave up three runs, but only one of which was credited to him.

Kies led the team at the plate with a 2-for-3 game featuring one RBI. Hobbs went 1-for-3 with one RBI.

Clark started the game for the Panthers and didn’t have a bad outing whatsoever allowing just six hits and striking out five. He gave up four runs, but only one of those was earned.

At the plate, Reid Clark and Cody Ferguson picked up hits.

Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.