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Thomas extends hit streak to nine straight ABs, also racks up 11 K's in rout of Red Bay

Peyton Thomas and Ridge Raper combined to strike out 14 batters in a five-inning game on Monday, leading Phil Campbell to a 14-1 win over rival Red Bay at the Franklin County Tournament.

Thomas (6-3) started on the mound and racked up 11 K's in four innings before giving way to Raper, who struck out the side in the top of the fifth. The Bobcats (21-9) then ended the game early with seven runs in the bottom of the inning, including a walk-off grand slam by Nate Owens.

Thomas also went deep, hitting an opposite-field drive over the right-field fence in the fourth inning for his ninth home run of the season and the 31st of his four-year varsity career. The senior slugger finished 3-for-3, extending his streak of consecutive at bats with a hit to nine dating back to last Tuesday's series opener against Sulligent.

Freshman catcher Austen Baker also went 3-for-3 on Monday, driving in two runs and tying Thomas for the team lead with his 11th multi-hit game of the year.

Thomas was locked in right away on the mound, striking out the side on 12 pitches in the top of the first. Red Bay senior Skylar Brazil pitched around a walk to Baker and a single by Thomas in the bottom of the first to keep it a scoreless game.

The Tigers (15-11) took advantage of an error, a single by Chase Allen and a ball in the dirt to scratch out a run against Thomas in the top of the second, but the hard-throwing righthander minimized the damage by striking out the side again. Brazil escaped another jam in the bottom of the inning, working around a leadoff single by Chase Hutchens and a two-out double by Mike Wrona.

Thomas needed just 12 pitches to pile up three more K's in the top of the third, and his RBI single tied the game 1-1 in the bottom half. Thomas struck out two batters in a scoreless top of the fourth, and then Phil Campbell broke the game open in the bottom of the inning.

Joe Hardy walked with one out, and Brody Nix singled. After both runners moved up on a passed ball, Wrona singled home Hardy to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. Nix scored on an error, and one out later Baker delivered an RBI single to make it 4-1. Raper kept the inning going with an RBI double to left, and then Thomas whacked a two-run homer to right to cap the inning and make it 7-1.

Raper relieved in the top of the fifth and struck out all three batters he faced on 14 pitches. Phil Campbell added to the lead in the bottom of the inning on an RBI groundout by Wrona and RBI singles by Motes and Baker. A walk to Thomas loaded the bases, and Owens unloaded them with his second home run of the season, a drive to center that made it 14-1.

Thomas allowed just one hit and zero earned runs in four innings. He threw 46 of his 63 pitches for strikes and did not walk a batter. He also finished with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Wrona was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Hardy and Nix each went 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. The Bobcats had 14 hits, getting at least one from all nine starters.

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