Thompson rebounds to win doubleheader with Vestavia Hills, take area series

Published 11:15 am Friday, April 5, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – After taking a tight 2-1 loss to the Vestavia Hills Rebels to open up area play, the Thompson Warriors bounced back in a big way to win 5-3 and 6-1 in a doubleheader on Thursday, April 4 at Thompson High School to come back and win the series.

In the first game of the day, Vestavia Hills took the lead to start the matchup with a two-out RBI single in the top of the first.

The Warriors responded in the bottom of the second with three straight singles by Ma’Kale Holden, Tucker Arrington and Wyatt Williams, with the last hit by Williams scoring a run and tying the game at 1-1.

After a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third, Hayden Craycraft hit an RBI single to take the lead and Peryn Bland increased the advantage to 4-1 with an RBI double right afterwards.

The Rebels got a brief opening in the top of the fourth to make the score 4-2 off an error, but Thompson restored its three-run lead in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out RBI single by Holden.

While Vestavia Hills got a run back thanks to a one-out home run in the top of the sixth, that was the last it scored in the game as the Warriors took the 5-3 win.

Holden went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI and Bland had a team-high two RBI.

Williams took the win with five strikeouts in four innings against one earned run, two total runs, four hits and two walks.

Holden earned the save with four strikeouts in three innings of one-run baseball, allowing just four hits and a walk.

Just like in the first game, the Rebels got right to work in the second game with an RBI single in the top of the first inning.

However, that 1-0 lead would be the last time they led as Thompson scored six unanswered runs.

After a Bland lead-off single in the bottom of the first, Drake McBride hit an RBI double on the first pitch he saw to bring home Bland from first base and tie the game at 1-1.

Both teams only faced the minimum in the second inning, and in the bottom of the third, two strikeouts by the Vestavia Hills starter put the Warriors in a hole.

However, an error and a D’Marion Terrell single put a pair of runners on for Ethan Crook who hit an RBI single to take a 2-1 lead.

A passed ball and an error on the next two at-bats extended the lead to 5-1 before the Rebels got out of the inning.

Thompson added one more run before the end of the game. After McBride walked to start the bottom of the fifth, Terrell hit an RBI double to bring him home from first and make the final score 6-1.

The double capped off a 3-for-3 game for Terrell as he also recorded a run and an RBI.

Ashton Blair earned the win as he struck out 12 batters in 6.2 innings while allowing just one run, two hits and two walks.

The 23-8 Warriors will continue area play against Tuscaloosa County, first with a home game against the Wildcats on Tuesday, April 9 at 6 p.m. before a doubleheader in Northport on Thursday, April 11 at 4:30 and 7 p.m.