Morgan Academy pitcher Andrew Thomas named Times-Journal Athlete of the Week
Published 9:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2022
For the second consecutive week, Morgan Academy pitcher Andrew Thomas went the distance with a complete game.
In 78 pitches, Thomas allowed three hits and gave up one run while striking out seven batters in a 6-1 victory over Clarke Academy Thursday.
“I got through the first inning, then when we got up to hit, we scored runs early, so that made It even better for me because we had the lead,” Thomas said. “I’m pretty sure we had the lead the whole game. That helped me out a lot because I knew I had some cushion. I just tried to dominate every single batter that I faced.”
The performance netted Thomas Times-Journal Athlete of the Week honors. He was an honorable mention for the accolade in the previous week.
“He’s just been dominant,” said Stephen Clements, Morgan Academy head baseball coach. “He’s been a bulldog for us all year, just getting on the mound and just pounding the strike zone. I think, if I’m not mistaken, he only had a 3-ball count to one batter, and that may have been the last batter of the game.”
When Thomas isn’t on the mound for the Senators, he plays wherever his presence is needed in the infield at first, second, third or shortstop. He said he enjoys pitching the most.
“I love it because I get to be in control when we’re on defense on the field,” he said. “The pitcher, you’re always holding the ball. You’re always going to have it. I love being able to throw strikes and hopefully strike people out when I face them.”
He added he embraces the challenge that comes with facing a particularly tough batter and stressed the importance of getting ahead in the count.
“Once you fall behind, the batter, he can start to guess if you’re going to throw a fastball or not because he knows you’re going to have to throw a strike,” Thomas said. “If I can get ahead, that means I can work with my off-speed (pitches). It’s always fun to get a good batter out.”
The senior said he’s been playing baseball since he was three or four years old.
“My favorite player right now currently playing is probably Dansby Swanson, but he plays shortstop – he’s not a pitcher,” Thomas said. “My favorite pitcher of all time is probably Greg Maddux or Tim Hudson.”
Thomas said he tries to set an example for his younger teammates by showing them how to be a good leader on and off the field.
“Just make sure they know they have to put in the work to be successful,” he said. “The work will pay off if they put it in.”
The Lawson State Community College commit said familiarity was a big factor in his decision to be a Cougar.
“The pitching coach that is at Lawson State right now, he has been one of my travel ball coaches for the past four years,” Thomas said. “Me and him have a really good relationship, and he knows what I am capable of. I trust him in what he does and what he knows. The head coach, I like him, and I have some of my buddies going there, too. I think with the 2022 class going into this fall, I think we can be a pretty good team.”
The Times-Journal Athlete of the Week honor offers coaches an opportunity to recognize players for their on-the-field efforts.
Coaches who wish to nominate an athlete for this accolade may send in their submissions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject line “Athlete of the Week.”