It was stellar defense and great pitching which led the Thomaston Warriors to the tournament championship in the NMP Slugfest. The Warriors went 4-0 in the Macon tournament, defeating the Sun Devils from Fayette County 6-4, the GA Rebels 9-7, the GA Superstars 2-1, and the Sun Devils once again in the Championship Game, 6-5.
In the first game of the tournament, the Warriors gave up two quick runs in the top of the first inning to the Sun Devils, but answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning. Chris Duncan drove home Kyle Kelly and Keon Thompson with a two-out, two RBI double.
The Warriors added a third run when Bennett Pardue drove home Logan Fowler with a RBI single, taking a 3-2 lead. The Warriors added on a single run in the fourth and two more runs in the fifth, holding on for the 6-4 victory.
Levi Long paced the Warriors with two hits and a run scored, Keon Thompson added a hit and two runs scored, Chris Duncan belted a two-run double, Bennet Pardue added a RBI single, Matt Millen chipped in with a hit and run scored. Elijah Hill, Andrew Timmons, and Kyle Kelly also added hits in the contest for the Warriors.
In the second game of the tournament, the Thomaston Warriors were the beneficiaries of several defensive errors and wild pitched by the Georgia Rebels. The Warriors scored eight runs in the first two innings. Again it was Levi Long who paced the Warriors with two hits and two runs scored.
The Rebels did their damage in the third inning, scoring six of their seven runs, but the Warriors answered back with runs in the third and fourth to hold off the Rebels by a 10-7 score.
Chris Duncan finished the game with a RBI single, Matt Millen also added a single in the fourth inning. Kyle Kelly and Ben Spillers also scored two runs each in the victory. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they lost their starting catcher, Brandon Blount, to a leg injury during the first day of games. The extent of Blount’s injury in unknown at this time.
Entering day two of the tournament with two victories, the Warriors faced off with the Georgia Superstars. In the first game of bracket play, it was great pitching and defense which earned the Warriors a 2-1 victory. Elijah Hill drove home Keon Thompson for the Warriors’ first run in the first inning, and a double by Joseph Carney drove home Matt Millen with a run scoring double in the third inning, giving the Warriors a 2-1 victory.
With three wins in three games, the Warriors met the Sun Devils again in the Championship Game. After losing to the Warriors in the first round, the Sun Devils battled back through the loser’s bracket to make it to the finals.
It was Keon Thompson who came through in the Championship Game with three hits, two RBI, and a run scored, as the Warriors defeated the Sun Devils to win the NMP Slugfest Tournament by a 7-6 score.The Warriors jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, with runs scored by Kyle Kelly and Thompson.
The Sun Devils from Fayette County answered with two runs in the second inning, slashing the Warriors’ lead to 3-2. The game would stay 3-2 until the fourth inning when the Sun Devils added on more runs. The Sun Devils took the lead with two runs, taking advantage of two defensive miscues by the Warriors.
Trailing 4-3, the Warriors’ Logan Fowler tied the game up 4-4 in the fourth inning, scoring on an error by the Sun Devils. The Warriors would add two more runs late in the game, thanks in part to Keon Thompson and his clutch hitting, as the Warriors held on for the 6-5 victory. Thompson finished with three hits, two RBI, and a run scored. Jospeh Carney finished with two hits, with Elijah Hill and Kyle Kelly chipping in with one hit each.
The Warriors are now off to play in the 2nd Grand Slam World Series in Panama City Beach, FL next week. This is the second year the Warriors have participated in this event, and they took fourth place overall in 2011. They lead off this event on July 23 at 8 a.m. with a game against the Bluegrass Buzz from Florence, KY. They then turn around and play Southern Crush Baseball out of Dothan, AL. This is a week long event with the championship bracket starting on July 26.
Keep reading The Times, as we will bring updates on the Warriors and their quest to win the World Series.