Thomas’ ninth home run ignites Twins’ big win over Baton Rouge

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Texarkana Twins Lee Thomas steps into a pitch, hitting his ninth home run of the summer at George Dobson Field Sunday night.


First baseman Lee Thomas hit his ninth home run of the summer Sunday night as the Texarkana Twins unloaded on Baton Rouge, 14-4.

Thomas finished the game with three of the Twins’ 14 hits. His college teammate at Incarnate Word University in Austin, Shea Gutierrez, led Texarkana’s assault at the plate with two doubles and two singles.

Right-hander Brock Booker started on the mound for the Twins, and got the win. The Bossier City Community College freshman went six innings, allowing two runs. Abilene Christian University’s Ryne Randle was not in a save situation, but got the final three outs as the Twins climbed back to .500 (21-21) in the Texas Collegiate League.

“Booker had a really good start; he slowed down a little in the sixth after taking a line drive off his rear end,” said manager Bill Clay. “I don’t think it’s a problem at all when Randle comes in after playing second all night. He pitched for a really big high school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We can count on him throwing strikes.”

Thomas one of 14 Twins still playing

Clay only has 14 of 31 players left from his original roster. Some left with injuries, while most returned home to get ready for college and fall baseball season.

“I’ve got fourteen, and I love everyone of them for sticking it out,” said Clay. “Losing players this time of the summer is not unusual. It’s happening all over the country. Baton Rouge is shorthanded, too. Give me four pitchers and my position players, and we’ll be just fine in the playoffs next week.”

Texarkana’s first-year manager was particularly pleased to see his club bang out 14 hits.

“That was good to see; we had a span that last about a month, where we had only five or six hits in a game,” said Clay. “We were also striking out ten to twelve times every game. Thomas has had a really good summer hitting the ball. I think we’re kind of back in our groove right now. The kids are relaxed, we’re just finishing it up.”

The Twins and Baton Rouge play again Monday night. Victoria comes to Texarkana for the final two regular season games at George Dobson Field.