Thompson wins area-opening series against Oak Mountain
Published 4:15 pm Friday, April 8, 2022
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
The Thompson Warriors have saved their best play for the most important time of the season, and that was no more evident than two thrilling one-run area wins against Oak Mountain on Tuesday, April 5 and Thursday, April 7.
With the series marking the first area games for the two teams, it was big for each, as both had seen recent promising signs.
The Warriors, however, entered playing their best baseball of the season after winning five of the last six games, and they took advantage of that.
In the opening game of the series, the Warriors struck first in the bottom of the second, and while they didn’t know it at the time, that one run became key.
It came on an RBI single from Ethan Crook, one at bat after a two-out double from Parker Edmondson kept the inning alive.
Oak Mountain was held scoreless through the first four innings, but the Eagles struck in the top of the fourth with a solo home run from Taylor Bush and an RBI single from Nick McCord.
The Warriors, however, came right back and loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the inning.
An error on a grounder from Crook drove home the game-tying run, then a two-out bases-loaded walk brought home Brodie Holcomb for what became the game winning run in a 3-2 win for the Warriors after neither team scored the rest of the way.
Thompson was led by Crook’s two RBIs, while Edmondson added two hits. Tucker Arrington and Holcomb both had hits as well, while Matt Casey finished with the game-winning RBI on a walk.
Casey also got the start and win on the mound, striking out nine and allowing two runs on four hits. Devin Brooks got the save, striking out two and giving up two walks with no runs or hits in the final inning.
Oak Mountain was led by Maddox MacRory on the mound in a complete-game effort. He gave up three runs, one of which was earned, and struck out five.
At the plate, Bush and McCord each finished with a hit and RBI to lead the way in the loss.
Two days later, the two teams met in what became a marathon battle that lasted 10 innings.
Thompson took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first and led 3-1 through the top of the fifth.
Oak Mountain, however, quickly wiped away the deficit with a five-run bottom of the fifth that gave the Eagles a 6-3 advantage.
That set the stage for a wild finish.
The Warriors scored two in the sixth to draw within one and then three in the seventh to regain the lead at 8-6.
Trailing by two in the home half of the final inning, the Eagles responded with two huge runs to even the score. They did, however, leave the bases loaded with one out after a strikeout and line out ended the threat and forced extra innings.
The first two extra innings came and went with no action, leading to a 10th inning.
With two down in the top of the 10th, it looked like the scoreless stretch would continue, but Thompson was able to start a two-out rally with an RBI double from Ben Pearman.
That gave the Warriors a 9-8 lead, while Holcomb then stepped to the plate and drove home an insurance run with an RBI single to put them on top 10-8 going to the bottom of the 10th.
That extra run became big, as Oak Mountain scored one and had another in scoring position before a strikeout and fly out ended the game.
Thompson was led by Holcomb with three hits and two RBIs in the 10-9 win, while Drake McBride finished with two RBIs on one hit. Foote added three hits and one RBI, while Pearman finished with two hits and an RBI. The Warriors also got one hit and one RBI each from Major Paracca and Crook.