Thompson extends win streak to 20 with top-two win over Central-Phenix City
Published 4:55 pm Sunday, March 19, 2023
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Sitting at 18-0 entering Saturday, March 18, the Thompson Warriors had a big day ahead with looming matchups against Class 7A No. 1 Central-Phenix City and Class 6A No. 5 Cullman, and they didn’t disappoint.
The Warriors, sitting at No. 2 in the Class 7A standings, not only won one of those two but ultimately took down both teams to cement themselves as legitimate contenders this season after improving to 20-0.
Thompson didn’t just sweep the doubleheader against the two top-tier opponents, but they did so with continued offensive firepower and strong pitching, taking down Cullman 13-3 and Central-Phenix City 12-2.
The Warriors have now scored seven or more runs in eight straight games, while they’ve given up four or less in each game during that stretch and in all but two games this season.
In the first of the two games against Class 6A power Cullman, Thompson scored eight runs between the first two innings to take early control, and the Warriors never looked back from there.
They went on to score two more in the third and three more in the fourth to pick up the 13-3 run rule victory in five innings.
The Warriors scored four runs in the opening inning before giving up one in the top of the second, but they came right back with four in the bottom half for a quick 8-1 lead.
Cullman went scoreless the next two innings, while Thompson added five more runs with two in the third and three in the fourth for a 13-1 advantage. The Bearcats added two more in the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to keep the game going.
Landon Alton got the start and struck out four on the mound, while he gave up three runs on four hits and two walks in the complete-game effort.
Tucker Arrington, Ben Pearman and Drake McBride all had two-hit games with Arrington and Pearman blasting one home run each. Pearman finished with a game-high five RBIs, while Arrington had three and McBride two. Percy Bland and Braydon Smith also had one hit, while Ethan Crook added an RBI.
In the second game of the doubleheader, which featured a top-two battle in Class 7A, the Warriors got off to a slower start.
They only mustered up one run through the first three innings, but the Red Devils also got off to a slower start.
Thompson’s lone run in that span came in the bottom of the first off a solo shot to left field from Crook to make it 1-0.
Following three scoreless innings for Central-Phenix, the Red Devils finally responded in the top of the fourth with two runs to grab a 2-1 advantage.
Thompson, however, responded immediately in the bottom half with five runs to take command of the game.
The Warriors loaded the bases before the game-tying run was walked home and a sac fly then brought home another.
With two outs, that could have been all, but Ryan Walker stepped to the plate and blasted a three-run homer to left field that put Thompson in front 6-2.
The Red Devils never had an answer the rest of the way.
Thompson scored four more in the fifth and two more in the sixth to pull off a second 10-run rule win of the day by a final of 12-2.
Zachary Wyatt got the start on the mound this time around, and while he gave up nine hits, he only allowed two runs and struck out four with no walks in the complete-game win.
At the plate, McBride finished with four RBIs thanks to another home run, while Walker finished with three RBIs on his home run. Crook also had the early home run and finished with two hits and an RBI. Bland added two hits, while Arrington and Wyatt both finished with a hit and an RBI.