THOMSON --- For the first time in school history, the Thomson Bulldogs are going to the semifinals of the Class AAA state baseball playoffs.
The Bulldogs swept the third-round series against Gainesville, 14-7 and 13-1, on Tuesday.
Gainesville, ranked No. 2 in the state, finished with a record of 28-5.
Thomson (26-4), ranked No. 8, will play at Columbus in a doubleheader on Monday. The time of those games has yet to be determined.
The rubber game of that series would be played Tuesday, if needed.
"It's a great feeling," said Thomson coach Jason Osborn. "This is a special group of players and I'm proud that they have done as well as they have in the playoffs. This team has really come a long way this season."
Thomson got fine performances from starters Abram Cartledge in Game 1 and Andy Grimaud in Game 2.
Cartledge, a junior southpaw, worked five complete innings, allowing eight hits. Three of those hits were home runs to Sloan Strickland in the top of the fifth and David Gonzalez and Michael Lorentz in the sixth. Cartledge was relieved by Nick Rau, who finished the game, striking out four of the eight batters he faced.
Gainesville took an early 4-0 lead in Game 1. But starting freshman pitcher Hunter Anglin, who came into the series with a 10-1 record, began having control problems. He was tagged for 11 hits and 11 runs before being relieved by Ryan Griffith in the bottom of the fourth with the Red Elephants trailing 11-4.
Thomson senior third baseman Cody Ewest hit his ninth and 10th home runs of the season in Game 1.
In Game 2, Grimaud went the distance, pitching a three-hitter in a game that was cut short because of the run rule in the sixth inning.
The biggest uprising came in the fifth inning when Thomson erupted for nine runs -- capped by a grand slam from Rau.