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Eufaula takes lead in Area 4 with win over CHHS

Sports Editor

Stephen Dawson’s top of the seventh RBI double allowed the Eufaula Tigers to take a 5-4 win over

Charles Henderson on Thursday night at Hogan’s Hole.

Dawson, who was also the Tigers’ pitcher, ripped an offering by CHHS reliever Pete Van Horn down the right baseline and scored teammate Garrett Palmer from second.

Dawson was left stranded when Loren Moid grounded out to shortstop Blake Phelps and Van Horn struck out the next two batters, but the damage was already done. Dawson issued a walk to Brett Pierce in CHHS’s last at-bat, but Daniel Porter went down swinging and both Clint Pugh and Justin Sims lined ground balls to first base for the final two outs of the game.

The win by Eufaula allowed the Tigers to take an early one-game lead in Class 5A Area 4. The Trojans fall to 5-9 overall and 0-1 in Area 4, with the rematch in Eufaula set for April 9. CHHS also still has a home-and-home series remaining with other area foe, Carroll of Ozark.

The Trojans had taken a 3-0 lead in the third when Tyson Pugh singled in Pierce, Clint Pugh followed with a single and Sims sent home both runners with a double.

Sims, who started the game pitching for Charles Henderson, sat down the first two Eufaula batters he faced in the top of the fifth, but the Tigers mounted a rally. Walter Jones doubled down the left baseline and scored after Kenton Petterson reached on error. Palmer was walked and

a two RBI double by Dawson tied the game at three runs apiece. Bobby Lockwood singled into right field and put his team up 4-3, forcing CHHS head coach Steve Garrett to bring Van Horn in to close the game.

The contest wasn’t without its share of controversy.

CHHS’s Alex Long got on base in the sixth when Peterson, playing shortstop, was unable to cleanly field a ground ball. A sacrifice bunt by Chase Kelly moved pinch runner Chase Clower over to second. Van Horn reached first when the Tigers’ catcher tried to throw Clower out at third.

David Doty got an infield hit, but the ball hit the CHHS base runner between first and second for the out and the Eufaula fielder then threw to first for the double play.

Clower was ruled to have scored on the play, but then the run was taken off by the officials. With Eufaula warming up to bat, Garrett called his players back to the dugout and initiated a protest. When play resumed, the ball that hit the Trojans’ base runner was ruled to be an out and deadball. CHHS was allowed to put both Clower back at third and Doty on first.

Clower charged the plate on a pitch by Dawson and was tagged out, but the field umpire ruled that Dawson had balked prior to the pitch, allowing CHHS to tie the game at 4-4.

CHHS returns to action today in Dothan. Game time is at 4 p.m.