Charles Henderson sweeps Alabama Christian, advances to third roundPublished 10:40pm Friday, April 26, 2013
Same field, same teams, but two entirely different baseball games were played between Charles Henderson and Alabama Christian on Friday night in Montgomery. The Trojans swept Alabama Christian 11-1 and 7-5 in the second round of the Alabama High School Association playoffs.
“The first game was a blowout, but it had nothing to do with game two,” said Charles Henderson head coach Derek Irons. “We had to forget about game one, and come out ready to play in game two. We took some shots in the second game, but never gave up and found a way to win it in the end.”
Charles Henderson’s potent hitting lineup produced in both games, albeit different portions of it. In game one, John Johnson and the bottom part of the order provided hits and runs, while the second game saw the Trojans’ lead-off man Hunter Baggett go 4-for-4 and drive in three runs.
Irons feels that Charles Henderson can produce from any spot in the order.
“That’s what I love about this team,” said Irons. “Anybody on any given day can produce at the plate. We have everyone do their part this season, and this team is special.”
With the wins, Charles Henderson advances to the third round of the playoffs, and will get to play back at the friendly confines of Frazier Field.
“We get to keep playing, and that’s what counts,” Irons said. “We get to go back to our place, and that is great too. But I’m happy to not be taking up jersey’s on Monday.”
Game One: Charles Henderson 11, Alabama Christian 1
The Trojans exploded in the fourth inning for six runs to grab a lead they would never relinquish.
After mustering only one hit in the first three innings, Charles Henderson knocked out six in the fourth frame. The inning was started with back-to-back doubles from Chase Smartt and Joey Denison.
Later in the inning, Luke Hastings and John Johnson reached on infield singles. Both would score later in the inning.
The Trojans tacked on three runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh to ease to the win in game one.
Houston Mabray went all seven innings on the hill for the Trojans, scattering five hits and striking out two. On offense, Charles Henderson was led by Johnson. The centerfielder went 4-for-4, with two RBIs and scored three runs.
Game Two: Charles Henderson 7, Alabama Christian 5
Charles Henderson finished the sweep of the Eagles in what Irons called “a great baseball game,” and “what the playoffs are all about.”
The Trojans and Eagles were tied 4-4 going to the bottom of the sixth inning. In the bottom half of the stanza, Baggett doubled in the go-ahead run with two outs. But the Trojans didn’t stop with just one run. Later in the inning, Chase Smartt singled in another run.
The extra runs would turn out to be key factors as Alabama Christian’s Ryan Pugh sent a solo homer to deep left center in the top of the seventh. However, Charles Henderson reliever Xavius Burden got a double play to end the game two batters later.
Baggett led Charles Henderson at the plate, going 4-for-4 with three RBIs. On the mound, Tripp Blackmon got the win, going four innings and striking out two.