Thomasville Times Enterprise

April 12, 2014

Night Hawks punch postseason ticket with weekend sweep of Warner

Daniel Kramer
Times-Enterprise

THOMASVILLE —

The Night Hawks collated 16 runs on 24 hits on Saturday. to catapult themselves into their first Sun Conference Tournament.

Thomas ousted Warner 7-1 in Game 1 and 9-3 in the finale to secure its fifth weekend sweep of the season.

“Sweeps are fun,” TU coach Mike Lee said.

The Night Hawks also find themselves on a seven- game win streak – their longest of the season – dating back to March.

Each team scored one run through the first three innings of Game 1, then Thomas padded a pair in the fourth and fifth, and relied on the cushion to cruise to a 7-1 win.

The Night Hawks continued their offensive momentum with nine runs through the first four innings of Game 2, including five in the fourth.

The beleaguered Austin Palmer notched his third home run of the year with two outs and an 0-2 count, which led Thomas to its 9-6 win.

Palmer, who has been sidelined the bulk of the season with an injury, has firmly replanted himself in the heart of the order with a team-high .444 average.

“He’s obviously a weapon when he’s healthy,” Lee said of Palmer, while also acknowledging that Palmer is the fastest player he’s ever coached. “He gives us a strong bat behind our top two guys that are getting on base, and driving them in.

Thomas (26-16, 17-7) now eyes next weekend’s showdown with St. Thomas, of which the winner will all but walk away with the No. 2 seed for the Sun Conference Tournament.

These teams last played almost a year ago to the day, which featured a weekend sweep in favor of Thomas.

“We went down there and I was hoping to just take away one,” Lee recalled. “We’ve never played them away from their place. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle coming into Varnedoe.”