Thompson sweeps Hoover to claim area championship, home playoff game

Published 8:29 pm Thursday, April 18, 2024

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ALABASTER – Entering their area series finale with rival Hoover, the Thompson Warriors needed at least one win to have a shot at the playoffs.

The Warriors stared that pressure in the face and not only got the one win they needed on Tuesday, April 16 in a one-run victory on the road, but they followed it up with an impressive 7-2 showing two days later to complete the sweep of the Buccaneers and pick up the Class 7A, Area 5 Championship in the process.

Thompson was 2-2 in area play coming into the series with the Bucs sitting at 4-0, but the Warriors’ two wins put them at 4-2 and earned them the tiebreaker for the area title.

Tuesday, it was a 4-3 victory that saw Thompson get two hits and an RBI from Bray Smith, while Peryn Bland and Ethan Crook finished with a hit and an RBI. The victory also featured a strong showing on the mound with Ma’Kale Holden getting the start and win with nine strikeouts, while Ashton Blair closed out the series-opening win with three strikeouts in the final two innings.

That gave Thompson a confident group heading back home on April 18, and it showed in their production.

Looking to avoid a likely tiebreaker scenario with Tuscaloosa County and their postseason hopes possibly on the line, Thompson left no doubt and went from being on the bubble of the playoffs to another championship season.

The Warriors came out strong early in the decisive game with a three-run opening inning that got started with three consecutive singles from Bland, Tucker Arrington and Drake McBride, with the latter of those an RBI single to put the team on top 1-0.

Three at bats later, Wyatt Williams struck a fourth single of the inning to left field that brought home Arrington and McBride for a quick 3-0 advantage.

Hoover got runs back in the top of the second and third to trim the deficit to 3-2, but Thompson came right back with two in the bottom of the third thanks to a two-run bomb from D’marion Terrell.

From there, the hole became too deep for the Bucs on the road as Thompson held them scoreless over the final four innings.

The Warriors added on two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to cap off a 7-2 victory for the area title.

Bland and McBride both finished with two hits each in the win, while McBride added an RBI. Terrell had two RBIs with his home run, while Williams finished with one hit and two RBIs.

Terrell, Carter Thompson and Ben Ferrell combined for a strong showing on the mound. The three combined to allow seven hits and two earned runs with six walks and two strikeouts.

Thompson will now host a playoff game next week looking to kickstart a redemption path after falling in the semifinals last year.