Cougars advance in playoffs with first round sweepPublished 5:13pm Monday, April 22, 2013
After allowing three hits and two runs to Kingwood Christian Saturday, Escambia Academy pitcher Michael Thompson settled in for a dominating pitching performance in an 8-2 victory in game one of the playoff series.
The Cougars took game two 3-1 to advance in the playoffs. They travel to Pike Liberal Arts in Greenville for a best-of-three series starting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Thompson Gave up hits to Kingwood’s Gage Summerall and Andrew Whitfield before a Will Holt double scored both runners giving Kingwood the early jump at 2-0.
Thompson then struck out Kingwood pitcher Tyler Harrell and Rivers Chamblee before forcing a groundout from Taylor Miller.
Harrell forced EA’s Brett Helton and Nate Smith to groundout to first, but Reid Bell doubled to keep the inning alive.
Bell then took third on a wild pitch and Thompson singled to help his own cause and scored Bell from third. EA cut the Kingwood lead to 2-1.
Thompson stole second and took third on an error during the next at-bat. He scored on a passed ball to tie the game at 2-2.
Harrell walked Tristan McAnally and McAnally stole second during the following at-bat. J.P. Sawyer stranded the runner with a groundout to first.
Thompson started the second inning with a strikeout of Kingwood’s J.D. Kyle. Bradley Martin reached on an error before Thompson struck out Titus Adams for the second out. Martin was caught stealing second base to end the frame.
Harrell retired the Cougar side of Tre McGhee, Brett Gorum and Blake Clark in order to end the second inning with the game still tied at 2-2.
Thompson answered by striking out the Kingwood side of Summerall, Whitfield and Holt in order to close out the top of the third.
Harrell walked Helton to leadoff the bottom half of the inning before Helton was picked off at first base. Smith and Bell hit groundouts to first to end the threat.
Thompson retired the Kingwood side in order in the top of the fourth inning with a strikeout of Harrell and groundouts for Miller and Chamblee.
With the score still tied at 2-2, Harrell struck out Thompson to leadoff the bottom of the fourth inning. McAnally was walked and Sawyer hit a single that advanced the runner to third. McGhee Struck out, but Gorum singled to score Sawyer and McAnally to give the Cougars a 4-2 lead. Clark hit into a fielders’ choice for the third out.
Thompson struck out Kytle to leadoff the top of the fifth inning. Martin was also struck out before Titus Adams was walked. Thompson struck out Summerall to end the threat.
Helton was walked to leadoff the bottom of the fifth. He stole second before Smith singled to move him to third. Helton then scored on a throwing error and first.
EA took a 5-2 lead.
Smith stole second during the next at-bat and Bell was hit by a pitch to put two runners on with no outs.
Kytle relieved Harrell on the mound. Thompson hit a double during the next at-bat that scored Smith to give EA a 6-2 lead.
McAnally was walked and Sawyer hit a sacrifice fly that scored Bell to give the Cougars a 7-2 lead.
McAnally successfully stole second and Thompson scored from third to give EA an 8-2 lead. McGhee was walked and Ryan Johnson was subbed in as a courtesy runner. Johnson was picked off at first during the next at-bat.
Gorum struck out and McAnally was caught stealing third for the final out of the inning.
Thompson forced a groundout of Whitfield before striking out Holt and Harrell to end the threat in order.
Clark singled for the Cougars in the bottom of the inning before Helton popped out and Smith flew out to center. Bell walked before Thompson hit a groundout for the third out.
Thompson retired the first two batters of the top of the seventh inning, forcing Chamblee into a groundout and forcing Miller into a pop out.
Kytle was walked, but Martin hit a popup in foul territory that was caught for the final out of the game.