By Andy Brown, The Messenger
Despite the fact that school was not in session on Saturday, there was still a lot of learning going on at Charles Henderson High School.
The instruction didn't occur in a classroom from a teacher, but instead came on the baseball diamond, and the instruction was coming from the Carroll High School baseball team as the Eagles topped the Trojans 8-7 in the region opener for Charles Henderson.
&uot;I think we learned some things today,&uot; second-year head coach Brad Phillips said. &uot;For one thing, it's a lot easier to win a game in seven innings than it is to try and win it in three. We played about two or three innings of a seven inning game today.
“We just weren't ready to play. We have a young team and for most of them this was the first region game they have ever been involved with and I just don't think they understood the intensity that is there in region play. We were not ready to play and Carroll was.&uot;
The Trojans fell behind early after the Eagles plated five runs in the top of the second inning on the strength of five consecutive hits, including back-to-back doubles and a pair of singles that caromed off the left field wall.
&uot;We made a lot of mistakes early in the game,&uot; Phillips said. &uot;In the end all of those little mistakes we made came back to get us. We misplayed a lot of balls that extended innings for them and they made us pay for it.&uot;
The Trojans chipped away at the Carroll lead in the bottom of the second when they pushed a pair of runs across the plate. Dario Rouse started the Charles Henderson rally with a two-out single to shortstop. William Teal followed Rouse with another single and Tanner Hensley plated both Rouse and Teal with a double to right center field to draw the Trojans to within three runs of Carroll at 5-2.
The Eagles extended their lead to six runs in the top of the fourth inning, once again capitalizing on back-to-back doubles. The Eagle rally was also aided by a Charles Henderson error.
The Trojans scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to once again draw to within three runs of Carroll.
Teal started the rally with a two-out triple to right field. Hensley picked up his third RBI of the game when plated Teal with an infield single.
Chris Davis followed Hensley with an RBI triple and came around to score on a double by Jonathan Wade to slice the Eagles' lead to 8-5.
The Trojans made one last run at a comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Wade started the inning by reaching base on throwing error by the Carroll third baseman.
Logan Pierce, pinch hitting for Blake Sanders, followed with a double down the left field line. Wade then scored on a ground ball to the right side b Drew Vaughn. The Trojans added one more run on a fielder's choice by Chad Jordan to cut the Eagles' lead to a single run, but the Trojan rally faltered giving Carroll an 8-7 win.
&uot;Our guys fought back, but by the time we started playing it was too late,&uot; Phillips said. &uot;I hope we learn from this. I hope we see that in a region game every play counts. You have to be up for every single pitch. Every out is important. All of that is true for every game, but in a region game you're fighting to make the playoffs and because of that the intensity level goes up. We have to be ready for that. I hope we saw today that you have to be able answer back every blow they deal you in region play and you have to start playing from the first pitch.&uot;
Jim Wallace suffered the loss for the Trojans.
Hensley paced the Trojans' offense with three RBIs on a double and two singles.
The Trojans will return to action Tuesday when they play host to Eufaula High School.
First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.