THOMSON --- Phillip Anderson has been working in the batting cages, hitting balls bounced to him as he shortens his swing.
Anderson displayed his consistency with his swing and combined with Will Tankersley to hit four home runs in two games as Thomson swept Hephzibah in a baseball doubleheader, 14-2 in five innings and 19-1 in three innings, Tuesday night in the Region 3-AAA Tournament.
Thomson advances to Saturday's semifinal round with the wins and has clinched a spot in the state tournament.
"I knew the first one was out, but I wasn't sure the second one would go over," Anderson said about his home runs, both of which came in the first game.
Thomson (20-2) scored its first run in Game 1 without a hit, as the first two batters reached on errors. Anderson then had his first RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly before Tankersley and Abe Cartledge added RBI singles. Andy Grimaud finished the scoring in the first with a double that fell just past the diving Bernard Germany, the Hephzibah center fielder.
Cartledge was in command on the mound, striking out five of his first six hitters, as he ended with nine strikeouts. He held the Rebels (9-12) hitless until the fourth inning, when Germany lined one to left. Cartledge got out of the ensuing jam despite conceding another hit, but Hephzibah later extended the game thanks to Germany's two-run double in the fifth.
However, Thomson still won by the run rule as it scored three runs in each of the last three innings.
The streak started behind a two-run double from Cartledge in the third and continued with Anderson's first home run and Nic Rau's triple in the fourth.
Cornell McCloud's extra-base-hit-saving catch aside, Hephzibah hurt itself in the field as it compiled 11 errors in the doubleheader. In the fifth, Hephzibah committed two of its six errors from the first game to set the stage for Anderson's three-run homer to dead center.
While Anderson totaled nine RBI in the two games, Tankersley did most of his damage in the second game, as the Bulldogs scored six runs in the first, two in the second and 11 in the third inning.
Tankersley came through twice in the huge third inning, when he hit two home runs and posted six RBI. Grimaud added a two-run blast and into the trees as Thomson hit three four-baggers in the third.
Anderson made quick work of the Rebels in two of the three innings. He had five strikeouts, retired the side in order in the second and closed the sweep with back-to-back strikeouts following an RBI from Germany.
"Our goal is to get to state, and we did that," Thomson coach Jason Osborn said. "Now we want to win the region and be home for state."