Thompson goes 4-2 over spring break, now 24-4 overall

Published 2:27 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Following their 20-0 start to the season, the Thompson Warriors have come back to earth, slightly, but they’ve still remained one of the hottest teams in the state after a successful spring break.

The Warriors dropped back-to-back games to Spain Park and Oak Mountain going into spring break for their first two losses of the season, Thompson responded with a 4-2 outing over spring break despite a challenging schedule.

Thompson picked up wins against Grissom, Austin, Sparkman and Bob Jones during the break, while the Warriors dropped two games to Hazel Green, one a tight 2-1 matchup and the other a 10-0 loss.

Following the tournament, the Warriors had improved to 24-4 overall on the season as the No. 1 team in the 7A classification.

Thompson opened the tournament in dominant fashion with a 12-4 victory against Grissom and a 5-3 victory against Austin on Saturday, March 25.

Against Grissom, Thompson fell behind 1-0 in the first, but scored five runs between the second and third to take the lead.

The Warriors scored in every inning the rest of the way, putting up one in the fourth and three each in the fifth and sixth innings to pull away for the eight-run victory.

Clayton Meacham, Leonard Casey and Sam Cunningham all combined to allow four runs and three hits with four strikeouts on the mound. Meacham got the win after going three innings and striking out three with one earned run allowed.

At the plate, Zachary Wyatt went 4-for-4 with one RBI, while Braydon Smith finished with four RBIs after a 2-for-2 game. Tucker Arrington and Wyatt Williams each finished with two hits and one RBI, while Peryn Bland and Ethan Crook each finished with a hit and RBI.

In the second game of the day, Thompson trailed 3-1 for the majority of the game, but the Warriors ultimately put together a four-run sixth inning to pick up a two-run win.

Drake McBride put together a 2-for-2 game with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the way, while Crook and Williams both finished with two hits.

Wyatt got the save on the mound in the final inning after Thompson took the lead. He gave up one walk, but he struck out the other three batters he faced to protect the win.

The Warriors went on to lose both Monday games to Hazel Green, but they bounced back on March 28 against Sparkman and Bob Jones with wins of 4-3 and 7-2, respectively.

Against Sparkman, it was another thrilling victory for the Warriors, as they put together a one-run win in the bottom of the ninth.

Sparkman took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but Thompson slowly chipped away at the deficit with one run in the second, one in the third and then the game-tying run in the fifth.

After a scoreless three innings in a row, Thompson broke the tie in the bottom of the ninth. The Warriors used a walk and single to put two aboard with two outs, which led to an Arrington hit that ended with an error allowing Bland to score the walk-off run.

Arrington didn’t have a hit in the game, but he did have two RBIs to lead the team. Bland and Williams led the Warriors with two hits each.

Ben Pearman got the start on the mound and struck out four, giving up three unearned runs with four hits and two walks allowed. Ben Ferrell and McBride finished off the final four innings, putting together a shutout effort to give the team a chance.

Against Bob Jones, Thompson was able to close out the tournament with another win after taking a 3-1 lead in the fourth. The Warriors added to that lead with a four-run sixth inning to make it 7-2, which became insurmountable.

Crook led the way this time with two hits and three RBIs, while McBride added two RBIs. Bland finished with two hits and Williams totaled a hit and one RBI.

On the mound, Wyatt closed the week with a win, striking out 11 batters in 6 2/3 innings. He allowed 10 hits, two runs and two walks.