Mehmen leads Thompson to huge area upset of Oak Mountain

Published 8:59 am Wednesday, April 3, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – Despite allowing a baserunner in all but one inning of the game, including runners in scoring position in four of the seven innings played, Josh Mehmen and the Thompson defense was able to get out of every jam to complete a 2-0 area upset of No. 3 Oak Mountain at Warrior Park on Tuesday, April 2.

The last threat of the game came in the top of the seventh when the Eagles loaded the bases with two outs looking to tie the game. After Mehmen had gotten the first two outs, Andrew South entered the game looking to preserve the win for his teammate.

South didn’t let the big moment of the bases being juiced in an area game affect him whatsoever, as he sat down the three-hole hitter Caleb Ragland with a strikeout in four pitches to end the threat and the game.

Oak Mountain left three runners on base in that inning alone, and left nine on base for the game.

That was in large part due to Mehmen’s presence on the mound through the 6 2/3 innings he pitched. While he gave up nine hits during the game, as the Warriors were outhit 9-6, he got out of every jam in the first six innings and struck out three batters without walking a single one.

It marked the first area game of the season for each team, and while the Eagles have been consistently one of the best teams against top talent all season, the Warriors have really started to hit their stride as they did at this point last year.

Thompson has now won seven of its last nine games to improve to 16-11 overall this year, while Oak Mountain is now 20-5 overall and has lost back-to-back games for the first time all season.

For the Eagles, however, both of those losses have come by finals of 2-1 and 2-0, while all of their losses have been by three runs or less, and with five area games still remaining in the next three weeks, it’s not time to panic whatsoever.

In this game, however, Thompson was able to strike early and never relinquished the lead.

After getting out of a jam with two runners on and just one out in the top of the first, the Warriors were able to take advantage of the two runners they got on in the bottom half of the first.

With one out, Nick Freeman singled and Breydon Edmondson walked to put two aboard and one in scoring position. After the second out was recorded, a hard ground ball hit by Harrison Poplin ended in an error and allowed Freeman to score for a 1-0 advantage through the first inning.

Three scoreless innings followed, but in the bottom of the fifth, Thompson added an insurance run on an RBI double from Grayton Arrington to take a 2-0 lead. The hit came with two outs and took advantage of a leadoff single from Carson Hobbs to start the inning.

The Eagles played the better final two innings, hitting a leadoff double in the top of the sixth and striking out the side in the bottom of the sixth before loading the bases in the seventh, but nothing ever came of it.

Arrington led Thompson at the plate with a 2-for-3 outing including an RBI. Hobbs, Freeman, Edmondson and Mehmen all went 1-for-3 at the plate.

Despite picking up the loss and allowing two runs, only one of which was earned, Jackson Kimbrell led Oak Mountain. He pitched the entire game on the mound and allowed just six hits while striking out 12 of the 26 batters he faced. His only issues this season have come in a lack of run support.

At the plate, the Eagles tried to do their best to give Kimbrell that run support and picked up the hits, but never brought the baserunners home.

Ragland, Hunter Hall and Luke Percer all went 2-for-3, while Dylan Fraser, Kimbrell and Jack Rivers all added one hit.