Thomas’s walk-off single propels Americus Travelers to victory at Grand Slam World Series

Published 11:55 am Saturday, July 6, 2019

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From Staff Reports


PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL – With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Tripp Thomas knocked a walk-off single into left field, scoring Owen Lamb to give the Americus Travelers a 2-1 victory over the Ironmen Midwest White team on Friday, July 5, at the Grand Slam World Series of Baseball in Panama City Beach, FL. The Travelers accomplished this by utilizing an overlooked, but very important facet of the game: bunting.

“This was a big win over a very good baseball team,” Americus Travelers head coach Tim Estes said. “I feel like the tough schedule we’ve played and the amount of time we spend working on the bunt game was the difference tonight.”

Lamb led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to fight field, followed by a bunt single from Caden King, moving Lamb into scoring position with no outs.

“When Owen Lamb led off with a single in the seventh, there was no question what we were going to do,” Estes said.  “We work on the bunt game a lot and Caden pushed the bunt to the right side and beat the throw.” Peyton Tompkins then laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Lamb to third and King to second.

After Landon Knight drew a walk to load the bases, Thomas singled home Lamb to end the game.

“I wanted to squeeze home the winning run, but coaches Jeff Fussell and Reid Ragsdale convinced me to give Tripp one strike to drive in the run. He ripped the single to left and got us the win.”

Thomas went 1-for-3 on the day, but that one single was the most important one of the game. Centerfielder Thomas Willis went 2-for-3 on the day and drove in an RBI in the bottom of the first inning to give the Travelers an early 1-0 lead. The Ironmen Midwest White team tied the game in the top of the fifth, but the Travelers’ pitching was able to hold the team from Cincinnati scoreless the rest of the way.

Throughout the game, it was a pitchers’ dual. Caden King was magnificent on the mound for the Travelers. King pitched six innings, allowing one run on four hits. He walked two batters and struck out six. Thomas came on in relief of King. He pitched the seventh inning, giving up no runs or hits and walking one.

The Travelers (4-0) are now just two wins away from earning the program’s first national championship since 2007. They will take on Diablos Gold out of Dunwoody, GA at 11 a.m. EST on Saturday, July 6. Should the Travelers be victorious over Diablos Gold, they will advance to the championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m. EST.