“We came out a little sluggish,” Comer head coach Evan Blair said. “We had a rough loss last night. Coosa beat us last night and that was a tough loss and we had to come back out here today, knowing we had a lot of guys use up some innings this week and knowing we were playing against a tough team. We came out a little bit flat, but I thought there at the end we picked up the pace a little bit and started competing a little bit.”
Thorsby has already easily surpassed 20 wins on the season and are ranked seventh in the most recent ASWA baseball rankings for 3A.
“When I look at the overall season, I kind of feel in a way we’ve underachieved a little bit,” Blair said. “That comes back to me. I’m the coach and I’m responsible for that. It’s my job to figure out a way to keep us from doing that, but in the same breath, if you’re going to get stuck in the same region as Thorsby and Trinity, they’ve been ranked top five, six or seven most of the year. You’ve got to go out and play some teams that are going to throw some good pitching at you and put the ball in play or you’re just going to be petrified when you play these kind of guys. That’s about the only option we had. There are some games that could have gone the other way, but we’re working that way to be able to finish those kind of games off and hopefully be able to compete with these kinds of teams to be able to make a run at the playoffs every year.”
Zach Osbourn made his first start of the season and wasn’t helped by the fielders backing him up. By the end of the first inning the team was already in a 5-0 hole. Parker Bryan led off with a single down the third base line. Bryan stole second base and came around to score when Denham Childress hit a single to the gap between left and center field. Matt Morgan hit a grounder to third base, but Brandon Knox was unable to make a clean play. Tyler Owens singled to shallow left field to load the bases.
Starting pitcher Bo Hoffman singled into the gap at shortstop that brought in two runs. Braden McRae hit a grounder to shortstop, but beat the throw to first base to bring in another run. Brantly Maddox hit a deep fly ball to center field for an out, but Hoffman tagged up to score from third base, making it 5-0.
An error in the second inning became a run and Thorsby added two more runs to make it 8-0.
Dustin Sumners hit a single to right field in the bottom half of the inning, but the Tigers were unable to turn the hit into a run.
Thorsby added two more runs in the third inning to make it 10-0.
Tyler Holmes got Comer on the board in the third inning with a towering shot to right-center field. Prior to his at-bat, Triston Sims got on base with a walk. The home run brought the score to 10-2.
Thorsby added three more runs in the fourth inning to make it 13-2.
Comer showed fight, adding a run in the bottom of the fifth when Caleb Duffee hit a double off the center field wall to score Holmes. Cory Harris was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs, but Dustin Sumners grounded out to end the game.
Hoffman earned the win on the mound for Thorsby, while Osbourn was charged with the loss.
Holmes finished as the standout hitter, going two for three at the plate with one run scored and two RBIs.
“Tyler hasn’t exactly pitched like we wanted him to this year, but he’s really swung the bat, really has lately,” Blair said of Holmes. “He swung well yesterday. I think he had a two home run game at Coosa last night, and he came out and hit another one today. He had one more hit too. He’s doing really good at the plate right now and we’ve got some other guys swinging it pretty good.
“Caleb Duffee got some good cuts today. Dustin Sumners, he’s a tenth-grader and he got in there and had the first hit of the day and swung the bat pretty good. Triston Sims has swung it well all year. He had a very good game yesterday, so we’ve got guys doing good stuff. It’s just a little bit here and there from taking that next step. Like I said, this is probably the toughest region in 3A baseball so we’ve got our work cut out for us with another year in this region.”