Thompson flies out of the gate, starts 2023 with five big wins

Published 3:37 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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By LAUREN SEXTON | Sports Reporter

MOUNTAIN BROOK – After opening the first week of the season with a 5-0 record behind wins against Gardendale, Mountain Brook, Chelsea, Calera and Ramsay, the Thompson Warriors are of and flying to start the 2023 baseball season.

In the first win against Gardendale, Thompson went to extra innings, but a five-run top of the eighth sparked by a Bray Smith grand slam proved to be the difference in a 10-6 exciting season-opening win.

Landon Alton was a huge contribution to the Warriors’ success in their first game against Gardendale. Alton lasted three and two third innings, allowing two hits, three runs and striking out three times.

Mac Bowman carried the Warriors with two hits in four at-bats with two players stealing at least two bases. Peryn Bland led with two.

Thompson followed its victory against Gardendale with a tight 5-4 win against Mountain Brook on Saturday, Feb. 18, where the Warriors earned an early lead in the game.

After having a 3-1 lead in the first inning, the Warriors fell behind after six scoreless innings. Thompson, however, was able to bounce back again in the final inning with two runs in the top of the seventh to overcome a one-run deficit and pick up a 5-4 win.

Luke Reid pitched for the Warriors against Mountain Brook. He surrendered zero runs on one hit over one inning with no walks. Ben Pearman gave up two runs on three hits over the course of three innings, striking out five times and walking one.

Bland led the Warriors with two hits in four at the bat.

Following their win against Mountain Brook, the Warriors started late again against Chelsea, as both teams went scoreless until they tied in the third inning. 

The Hornets then gained the lead after Chelsea scored in the top of the fourth. However, the Warriors made a comeback in the bottom of the sixth inning after the bases were loaded en route to a 6-3 victory.

Zach Wyatt went five innings and allowed three runs on three hits and struck out eight after taking the mound. Pearman finished 1-1 in the game with an RBI double, while Ryan Walker finished with a hit and one RBI in addition to a hit and RBI from Miles Mitchell.

The winning ways continued on Monday, Feb. 20, as Thompson faced Calera and Ramsey. Thompson used a big fourth inning to take down county foe Calera first.

Thompson scored its first run in the top of the second tying the score to 1-1, however, the game didn’t remain tied for too long after the Warriors scored five runs in the top of the third and eight in the top of the fourth.

Bland, Wyatt Williams, Mitchell, Drake McBride, Wyatt and Bowman all hit RBIs after a powerhouse offensive performance in the fourth inning.

Pitcher Ashton Blair was a crucial part of the Warriors’ success with Blair giving up two runs on two hits over four innings. Blair struck out four, while one walked.

Thompson finished out Monday with another blowout win against Ramsay. This marked the Warriors’ fifth consecutive win of the season, as they pulled away for a 19-1 victory.

The Warriors scored in each inning with Tucker Arrington getting the ball rolling after scoring in the first inning. The Warriors followed with two more in the second inning. However, it was the last three innings Thompson dominated.

Thompson scored six runs in the top of the third and followed with five runs in both the fourth and the fifth inning.

There were 15 hits from the Warriors in the win. Bland, Williams and Bowman all totaled multiple hits with Bland going three-for-three at the plate, while Williams had the most opportunities in the field with 12.

Now 5-0 for the season, Thompson travels to take on Sparkman and Helena on Saturday, Feb. 25.