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Bob Jones falls in matchup between two of the top teams in Class 7A

By Caleb Odom (caleb@themadisonrecord.com)

MADISON — It was a game that had a great deal of hype around it, the two top 7A baseball teams in the state meeting on a Tuesday night at Bob Jones High School.

The No. 3 Patriots of Bob Jones fell to No. 1 Thompson 7-2 on March 28 in a game that got away from them.

Despite the cold wind that made watching this game mostly miserable, many hardy fans showed up for this massive tilt that had a playoff feel to it from the start.

Maybe it was the earlier Sparkman-Thompson game going long that added to the mystique of Thompson vs Bob Jones, but there was a different energy at the ballpark on Tuesday.

There was an anticipation in the air. That something great was about to be seen.

Things looked promising from Bob Jones in a fast-moving first three innings as the Patriots held serve with the Warriors.

Like a staring contest, each team was looking for an opportunity to make the other blink.

Meanwhile, it was the fans who couldn’t seem to look away from this game that featured starting pitchers Zach Wyatt for Thompson and Tanner Hermesch for Bob Jones.

Hermesch was cruising right along with three clean innings under his belt when the Warriors put something together in the top of the fourth.

A double, a hit batter and an error gave Thompson an opportunity and Ethan Crook made the Patriots pay with a 2-run single.

The Warriors would hang three runs on Bob Jones in the inning and the Patriots responded with one run in the bottom of the fourth to make it 3-1 Thompson.

The turning point of the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Bob Jones had two men on with no one out and were unable to score.

Jacob Pearl had shined with the bat all game for the Patriots and the right fielder collected one of his three singles in the bottom of the fifth.

Pearl stole second base and Braden Booth coached a walk to start the beginning of a rally it seemed.

But things started to unravel for the Patriots when Sammy Vander Hill struck out for the third time.

As the frustrated center fielder walked back toward the dugout, he had some words for the umpire who promptly threw Vander Hill out of the game.

Two Bob Jones strikeouts later, the Patriots saw a big moment slip away with nothing to show for it.

Thompson scored four more runs in the top of the sixth inning to lead 7-1 as the Patriots started to crumble and struggled to find outs to stop the bleeding.

Bob Jones was able to add a run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Zach Johnson’s double knocked in CJ Bush, but the night belonged to Thompson.

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