Thompson’s baseball team off to 5-0 start

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

ALABASTER – After opening the first week of the season with a 4-0 record behind wins against Glencoe, Central-Phenix City, Marbury and Mountain Brook, the Thompson Warriors were back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 25, with a home game against Oxford.

The Warriors used six runs between the fifth and sixth innings and escaped a jam in the top of the seventh to take down a good Oxford team 6-2 and extend their win streak out of the gate to five in a row.

A big reason for that success was the complete-game effort on the mound from Josh Mehmen, who was able to overcome a shaky final inning to finish off a strong performance.

Mehmen allowed just four hits and two earned runs, both in the top of the seventh, while striking out nine and walking just one to earn the win.

While Thompson’s offense was slow to start the game, not scoring through the first four innings of the game, Mehmen kept his team in it by not allowing any runs to the Yellow Jackets.

His scoreless four innings on the mound allowed the Warriors to be patient and wait for their time to strike, which came in the bottom of the fifth.

Thompson displayed that patience to perfection by drawing three walks out of the gate. That led to a sac fly from Josh Roberts that drove home the game’s first run, but following a second out in a row during the next at bat, it looked as if the damage was going to be limited.

With runners still on second and third, however, Ben Pearman stepped to the plate. During his at bat, Carson Hobbs was able to score, before Pearman laced a double on a hard ground ball that drove home Tyler Roach.

One batter later, Connor Gregory doubled on a line drive of his own and drove home Jaden Butts to put the Warriors in front 4-0 through five innings.

Mehmen allowed just one hit in a quiet top of the sixth, before the Warriors came back to the plate ready to strike again.

Thompson’s hunger showed early in the inning when Logan Braunschweig led off with a single, before Cade Watts placed a line drive perfectly into right field that not only drove Braunschweig home but allowed Watts to leg out a triple.

Following a walk, Harrison Poplin drove home Thompson’s sixth and final run with a fielder’s choice.

Oxford looked needed an answer in the top of the seventh to keep the game alive, and for a brief moment, the Yellow Jackets had it. They led off with a single and a walk to put two runners aboard.

A ground out then moved both runners into scoring position. A single and a fielder’s choice brought both runs home, but Mehmen then settled in with nobody on base and two down before forcing a ground out that ended the game.

Watts finished the game 2-for-2 with one RBI and two runs scored. Braunschweig, Hobbs, Pearman and Gregory each had hits in the win, while Watts, Poplin, Josh Roberts, Pearman and Gregory each had one RBI apiece. Poplin also drew three walks in the win.