Last Saturday, things had dried out and Thomson was able to host Grovetown, but the Diamond Dogs lost 7-3. Thomson’s record was 1-5 heading into this week.
The two teams faced off evenly Saturday in the opening innings. In the top of the first, Grovetown scored one run. In the bottom of the inning, Thomson scored to tie 1-1. Each team added one run in the second inning, which ended tied 2-2.
“We had Matthew Dena on the mound and he always gives us a good run for the other team’s money,” said THS Head Coach Nick Rau. “He’s really doing a great job as a freshman this year to give us the chance to win.”
Dena pitched six innings, had four strikeouts, and recorded 16 first-pitch strikes.
“Our goal is to get ahead first pitch,” said Rau.
Grovetown took a 3-2 lead in the top of the third and then stretched it out to 5-2 in the top of the fifth. Thomson countered with one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, which ended with Grovetown leading 5-3.
“It was toe-to-toe there at the end and it just kind of slipped out of our hands,” Rau said.
In the seventh, Grovetown added two more to set the final score at 7-3.
Rau credits his team for playing solid defense against Grovetown and also hitting better than earlier in the season.
“We definitely hit better than we have. (Jackson) Purvis finally stepped up and had a nice lead-off double to get us going. We had a freshman hit his first extra base hit of the year — Eli Bragg hit an RBI triple. And, Jamon Fanning finally got a hit on the season,” said Rau. “We’re starting to finally get comfortable and put the ball in play a little bit more and cut down on strikeouts a lot more.”
The Dogs hosted Cross on Tuesday, results were not available by press time Tuesday.
If weather allows, the Dogs will play at Burke County on Friday. Rau said Burke is a strong opponent.
“If we beat Burke, we’re really looking good,” he said.
On Saturday, the Diamond Dogs will be in Eatonton for a double header against Putnam County.
Then, on March 16, Thomson will make up a rained-out game against Briarwood Academy. The rained out March 4 game would have been at Thomson, however this one will be played at Briarwood.
Rau said moving forward through the season the main thing the Dogs will try to focus on getting key hits in situations where runs are in scoring positions.
“If a guy is on second base, we don’t need a pop up, we don’t need to try for a home run. We need to get him over and get him in,” the coach said.