Thompson improves to 15-11 following spring break tourney

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

Last year, the Thompson Warriors made a special run in the Gulf Coast Classic when head coach Pat Hamrick picked up his 500th career win and the Warriors came close to winning the title.

That seemed to spark a strong run the rest of the season that almost saw them claim a playoff spot in a very difficult area.

After this year’s tournament, the Warriors are hoping that will happen again. While Thompson went an even 2-2 in the tourney, the Warriors seem to be trending upward having won six of their last eight games to improve to 15-11 heading into an important stretch of area games.

A recap from each of Thompson’s games at the Gulf Coast Classic is below.

Game 1: Thompson 3, Springville 9

The opening game of the tournament marked Thompson’s biggest struggle of the week. While the Warriors answered a first-inning run by Springville to create a 1-1 tie, they didn’t score again until two runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Springville on the other hand scored a combined eight runs while Thompson was having those struggles at the plate, which led to a 9-3 loss to start the tournament.

The good news, Thompson got plenty of experience in the game with 18 different players stepped on the field in the game as the Warriors pretty much emptied the bench.

Breydon Edmondson, Grayton Arrington, Harrison Poplin, Josh Mehmen, Zach Townsend and Daulton Byford all picked up hits, while Nick Freeman and Edmondson had one RBI apiece.

Game 2: Thompson 14, Bradford (TN) 0

Thompson had no problem bouncing back one day later against Bradford High School from Tennessee thanks to scoring at least four runs in the first three innings.

At the end of three, the Warriors led 13-0 before adding a 14th run in the bottom of the fourth to close out the scoring in a shortened 14-0 five-inning victory.

Andrew South got the start on the mound and kept Bradford from putting together any sort of success by allowing just two hits and striking out six. Dylan Russell finished the final inning and didn’t allow a hit.

At the plate, 11 different players picked up a hit in the game as Thompson again used several players in the win. Trey Puckett led the way by going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored. Arrington also added three RBIs in a 1-for-1 game, while Edmondson posted two RBIs with a 1-for-1 game. Four others also added RBIs in the win.

Game 3: Thompson 10, Marengo Community (IL) 0

Thompson used that aggressive start in the second game to fuel another impressive start a day later against Marengo Community High School from Illinois.

The Warriors put together all 10 of their runs in a 10-0 victory in the first three innings of another five-inning contest.

Thompson’s first three runs in the opening inning came on a sac fly from Carson Hobbs and back-to-back RBI singles from Cade Watts and Mehmen for a 3-0 lead.

Thompson’s second-inning success was thanks to one walk and four singles. Freeman hit a two-RBI single, before Arrington and Watts hit back-to-back singles with two outs to drive in one run apiece for a 7-0 lead.

The Warriors then added three more runs in the bottom of the third thanks to doubles from Puckett, Yancey and Hobbs to drive in three more runs leading to the final score of 10-0.

Hobbs, Freeman and Watts all had two hits and at least one RBI in the win, while Arrington and Mehmen also added one hit and one RBI.

On the mound, Mehmen, Poplin and Anderson Sparks combined for a no hitter in the five-inning game, while also combining to strike out 12 batters.

Game 4: Thompson 5, Robertsdale 10

In the final game of the tournament, Thompson went up against Robertsdale and seemed to be in decent shape through the top half of the third inning in a 3-3 tie, but Robertsdale then posted seven runs in the next three half innings to take a 10-3 lead before Thompson’s comeback attempt in the seventh only saw two runs cross the plate in a 10-5 loss.

After falling behind 3-0 in the bottom of the second, the Warriors scored three in the top of the third to answer and tie the game, but pitching became a struggle against Robertsdale’s hot bats.

At the plate, Freeman went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Edmondson went 1-for-3 with two RBIs.