Walt Thomas watched the ball sail off his bat and bounce just off the top of the outfield wall at Legion Field. Instead of making a home run trot, Thomas settled for a two-run double that still proved to be crucial in the Post 20 Greenwood Braves’ 4-2 win over Post 14 Anderson on Wednesday.
Thomas said he didn’t think he had a chance at a home run.
“Honestly, no,” he said with a laugh. “I didn’t think I hit it that well, but I guess my leverage just put it out there.”
Thomas’ two-run double in the fifth inning padded the lead and ultimately preserved the victory for Greenwood starter Jarrett Dillashaw, who made his first start of the season. Dillashaw threw five innings, allowed five hits, struck out four and was lifted from the game with no outs in the sixth. The right-hander entered the inning with a 4-0 lead before allowing two runs.
The key hit from Thomas was the difference.
“It ended up being big,” Thomas said. “We’re going to the seventh tied if I didn’t do that, so it turned out for the best.”
Logan Bruce provided an RBI single in the second inning and Luke Poole hit an RBI single in the third to back Dillashaw, who silenced the Anderson bats for most of the night.
“Jarrett definitely set the tone,” Post 20 coach Glen Evans said. “He pitched a heck of a ballgame in his first start of the year. That’s what he’s capable of doing. I’m very proud of him, it was a great effort from him.”
Evans was also pleased to see a cleaner game defensively from his group. Earlier in the week, Greenwood committed four errors and walked 10 batters in Monday’s 16-12 win against Anderson. They committed one error and walked one on Wednesday.
“That was a clean baseball game,” Evans said. “The other night wasn’t so clean up there, so I’m very happy with the way the guys played tonight. And we got some timely hits.”
The 6-foot-6 Thomas, a graduate of Greenwood High, just finished his first season with Spartanburg Methodist as a full-time pitcher, but he was one of the better hitters on the team during his high school years.
Evans said he wanted to give Thomas an opportunity in the lineup Wednesday because of that ability he’s shown in the past.
“In batting practice, he’s shown power,” Evans said. “We wanted to get some power in the lineup tonight, and it paid off. He’s a good athlete.”