It was a game that reeked of old-fashioned, high school baseball in South Georgia.
Thomasville ousted Cairo, 3-1, in a Thursday match that featured two teams that look to have reached midseason form. An error apiece notwithstanding, both squads looked as fundamentally sound as they had all spring. Yet one wild throw by Cairo in the fourth inning cost the Syrupmakers greatly.
“It was definitely an earned ballgame,” Thomasville coach Erik McDougald said. “We knew it was going to be that way coming in.”
Thomasville’s Garrett Hasty scored the final run on the error after reaching third on a fielders choice by Morgan Myers following Hasty’s double in the left centerfield gap.
Cairo was on the board in the first when with a sacrifice fly to centerfield with the bases loaded. But that’s all the Syrupmakers could muster, as they left two runners stranded that inning and failed to score again.
“I think Thomasville played like they wanted it just a little bit more than we did tonight,” Cairo coach Ron Best said. “We had played well the past few games, but just didn’t have that edge.”
Thomasville made some noise in the third when Oren King brought home Myers on a liner up the middle. Bayley Wright piggybacked the play with an RBI double.
Thomasville’s Matthew Green pitched all seven innings and allowed just five hits.
Green, a Bainbridge native, said Thursday’s win was as special as any he’s been a part of.
“It just kind of drove me,” he said of playing Cairo. “My guys were backing me up out there. I just threw the ball and my defense did the work.”
After the game, Best and McDougald met at the pitchers mound to share a hearty laugh and handshake, personifying the rivalry they share dating back 24 years from when McDougald was Best’s pupil.
Both teams are in action again on Friday with region games.
Thomasville hosts Brooks, and will commemorate its annual Military Appreciation Night.
“It’s another step forward,” McDougald said. “What we’re doing at the plate, I think we’re taking baby steps forward. We’re glad that we’re taking a little momentum into tomorrow’s ballgame.”
Cairo travels to Dougherty.