Trojans knock around Greenville, 10-0

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 27, 2001

Sports Editor

Following a 10-0 knockout of Greenville in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs on Wednesday, Charles Henderson head coach Steve Garrett addressed his team with a term popularized by former Trojans’ coach Mike Hogan.

"Play in May," Garrett told his squad. "If you can say you’ve played in May then you’ve done something. Coach Hogan used to tell that to his players over and over again and now I’m telling it to you."

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However, the Trojans still have one game remaining in the month of April. Saturday, CHHS will be on the road to take on Chilton County in a second round single elimination contest. A win there and the Trojans will more then likely return back to Troy for a best two out of three series in the third round. Game time is 1 p.m. in Clanton.

But Garrett was pleased with his team’s performance against the Tigers on Wednesday. Starting pitcher Justin Sims gave up just one hit and finisher David Taylor retired three straight batters in just one inning pitched. Up 7-0 in the bottom of the sixth, CHHS added three more runs to finish the game, courtesy of the AHSAA’s ten-run ‘mercy’ rule. Taylor’s basehit drove in Chase Kelly for the tenth run.

"I think Justin did a good job. He just went out there and threw strikes and made them hit the ball," Garrett said. "And we really played good defense behind him."

The Trojans opened up with two quick runs in the bottom of the first, while Sims caught the Tigers’ batters swinging at anything that came near the plate. GHS’s Ken Gibson managed to reached first with a bunt in the top of the second.

But first base was as far as any Tigers’ player would get in the game. Sims struck out five of the next ten batters he faced, before Taylor opened on the mound in the sixth. Short stop Kevin Stephens chased down an over-the-head fly ball in the top of the third inning to record the final out, preventing one Greenville batter from reaching base.

"That could’ve been a hit, but Kevin made an outstanding catch on the ball," said Garrett. "There only hit was on that drag bunt, but really, I would have liked it to go on into the seventh inning and have (Scott) Stetson pitch some to get another inning under his belt.

Garrett said he knew his team would struggle early on facing off against Greenville starter Justin Kidd. When batting against a slower pitcher this season, it usually takes a few innings before the Trojans are able to find their hits at the plate.

"We always start slow against those type of guys," he said. "But I knew that eventually we’d start hitting him pretty hard."

‘Hard’ as in a fourth inning, four hitter, started off by a Clint Pugh single and finishing with Stetson’s sacrifice fly into right field. After Pugh’s hit, Stephens reached base on an error and Woods sent both players home with triple hit into right field. Pete Van Horn followed with a basehit, scoring Woods, and Will Jones added a single of his own. Stetson’s fly out added another run and Sims grounded into a force at first to round out the scoring for CHHS in the fourth.

The Trojans improved to 19-8 on the season with a possible 20th win awaiting them in Clanton.

"We’re looking forward to this second round game," said Garrett. "It’s been a long, long time since we’ve advanced to the second round. We would love to get that 20th win this weekend and bring it home to Troy for a three-game series."