Thompson completes sweep of Tuscaloosa County, now 3-1 in area play
Published 7:43 pm Wednesday, April 12, 2023
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor
The Thompson Warriors are bidding for an area championship this season as one of the top teams in the state, and their odds got a little better on Wednesday, April 12 when they completed a sweep of Tuscaloosa County.
With the back-to-back wins April 11-12, the Warriors improved to 3-1 in area play with one area series against Hoover still left to play and a tiebreaker against Vestavia Hills already under their belts.
Thompson used strong pitching, impressive defense and a steady offense in the two wins against the Wildcats, finishing with wins of 5-0 and 6-2. Between the two games, the Warriors committed just one error, compared to five for the Wildcats, which was a key factor.
In the opener, the Warriors only outhit Tuscaloosa County 6-5, but they capitalized with runs, while Landon Alton and Carter Thompson were both impressive on the mound.
Alton continued a strong season with 11 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of work on the mound, while he allowed no runs on one hit and a walk to earn the win. Thompson then followed by finishing off the game with two strikeouts and allowing one hit and one walk.
That combined effort was more than enough for the offense, which used patience to steadily pull away.
Thompson took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second with an RBI sac fly from Miles Mitchell and added to it two innings later with a lead-off home run from Drake McBride.
Up 2-0, back-to-back hits in the top of the sixth from Tucker Arrington and Zachary Wyatt were key in adding insurance for the Warriors.
Arrington lined a ball to right field that ended with an RBI double, while Wyatt followed a batter later, hitting a ball through the left side of the infield to bring home another run and make it 4-0.
Tuscaloosa County loaded the bases in the home half of the inning, but the Wildcats couldn’t capitalize and the Warriors put the game away in the top of the seventh with one last run on an RBI single from Peryn Bland.
Wyatt and Bland led the way with two hits and one RBI each for Thompson in the win, while McBride and Arrington each added one hit and one RBI. Mitchell also added an RBI for the Warriors.
The second game between the two was similar, but the Warriors quickly set the tone this time around by jumping out to a 5-0 lead through four innings of play and holding on from there for the 6-2 victory.
Wyatt got the start on the mound this time around and struck out seven in his time. He pitched the first four innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, while Ben Ferrell finished off the final three innings with four strikeouts, allowing one hit and one walk with no runs.
At the plate, Thompson started fast with two runs in the bottom of the first on a sac fly from Arrington and an RBI single from Wyatt to help his cause on the mound.
After going down in order in the second, the Warriors added a third run in the third inning with Parker Edmondson scoring with solid baserunning to make it 3-0.
Thompson tacked on two more an inning later off a hit from Ethan Crook, but Tuscaloosa County finally had an answer in the top of the fifth, scoring their first two runs of the series to trim the deficit to 5-2.
The Warriors, however, got back-to-back outs after and added an insurance run in the home half of the fifth on an error with the bases loaded to make it 6-2.
From there, Ferrell held the Wildcats in check, allowing just one baserunner the rest of the way to close out the four-run win.
Crook and Wyatt finished with two hits and an RBI, while McBride added two hits. The Warriors also got one hit each from Bland and Mitchell, while Arrington finished with an RBI.
Thompson will close area play next week with a series against Hoover scheduled for Tuesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 20.