Dominant pitching, consistent hitting send Glenwood to AISA semis

dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.comApril 24, 2014 

Tanner Thomason wasn’t completely happy with his outing after tossing a six-inning no-hitter in Game 1 of a two-game sweep against Bessemer on Thursday, which put his Glenwood Gators into the AISA Class 3A baseball semifinals.

For one, it was only six innings. His offense was so good that it plated 10 runs to give the Gators a 10-0 win after six innings, preventing Thomason from getting the no-no in the full seven innings.

And then there was that pitch in the second inning that crept inside on Bessemer’s Mike Williams, striking him and sending him to first base as the Rebels’ lone base runner of the game.

“Yeah, I thought he maybe put his elbow out a little bit,” said Thomason of the hit batter after the game, a wry smile across his face. “Other than that, it was perfect.”

That final sentence from Thomason can summarize the twin bill for the Gators, who won 10-0 and 11-1 to advance to next Wednesday’s semifinals, which will be played at home against Monroe Academy.

Glenwood (30-9) scored in 12 of the day’s 13 innings and got another electrifying start on the hill from Lawson Humphries in Game 2. Humphries went five innings, struck out eight batters and allowed just a single earned run on a pair of soft hits in the first inning.

At one particularly dominating juncture of the nightcap, Humphries struck out five consecutive batters, throwing 16 strikes and three balls during the run.

“He gave up a couple soft singles in the first inning and then just settled in after that,” coach Tim Fanning said. “He throws in the upper 80s, has that hard slider and comes in from different angles on top of all of that. He’s tough on guys.”

As tough as he was, even his performance couldn’t match that of Thomason, the hulking 6-foot-9 righty.

Thomason allowed just one ball out of the infield, a lazy flyout to center, and had just one pitch squared up the whole game. That one was a hard liner back to the mound, which Thomason conveniently found resting in the webbing of his glove.

Other than that, he struck out five batters, forced four short pop-ups and seven routine ground balls. He struck out the side in the sixth and final inning of the game and finished with 55 pitches, 42 of which went for strikes.

“I threw strikes,” he said, simply. “I let my defense do the work. I’ve got a good defense, and I know they’ll make the plays. I kept the ball down and hit my spots.”

He said his economical day with his pitches kept his arm fresh deep into the ballgame and noted the only regret was that he couldn’t get the no-hitter in a full seven-inning game. He had another five-inning no-hitter earlier this season.

Fanning said it didn’t matter.

“If he’d gone seven, he’d have gotten them too,” he said.

Both pitchers got a lot of offensive help. Glenwood scored in all six innings of the first game and six of seven in the second.

Dylan Denny recorded four hits, a double, triple and four RBIs over the course of the doubleheader, Brandon Moseley notched six hits and three RBIs and Tyler Cadenhead had a pair of hits and three RBIs. Coleman Duke went 2-for-2 with three RBIs in Game 1.

There was never a huge inning, but just consistent runs through the order in each frame.

“That’s the way we play,” Fanning said. “That’s what we do on a daily basis. We need to get them on, get them over and get them in.”

Thursday at Glenwood

Game 1

Bessemer 000 000—0 0 2

Glenwood 112 312—10 10 0

WP—Tanner Thomason (7-1). LP—Justyn Barnes. Leading hitters—Glenwood, Dylan Denny 2-4, 2B, RBI, Brandon Moseley 4-4, 2 RBIs, Luke Hammock 1-2, RBI, Coleman Duke 2-2, 3 RBIs, Tyler Cadenhead 1-3, 2 RBIs.

Game 2

Glenwood 201 421 1—11 9 1

Bessemer 100 000 0—1 4 4

WP—Lawton Humphries (6-3). LP—Lowell Brook. Leading hitters—Glenwood, Dylan Denny 2-4, 3B, 3 RBIs, Brandon Mosely, 2-4, RBI, Lawson Humphries 1-2, RBI, Tyler Cadenhead 1-2, RBI. Records—Bessemer, 10-14; Glenwood, 30-9. Next—Glenwood, Wednesday vs. Monroe Academy at home.

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