CHHS makes playoffs as Area 2 runner-up

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 21, 2002

Sports Editor

Two days after dropping a game that could have cost Charles Henderson a chance at a fourth straight appearance in the Class 5A state playoffs the Trojans got some unlikely help from the team that beat them.

Carroll-Ozark went to Old Creek Town Park with a chance to claim the Area 4 crown on Friday night but was topped in the bottom of the ninth by the Eufaula, 4-3. Wednesday, CHHS had watched its chances of a third straight area title, and perhaps a playoff spot, slip away in Eufaula with a 5-2 loss.

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The Tigers took the title outright with a 3-1 record (6-10 overall), their only loss coming to the Eagles in Ozark. Eufaula swept CHHS, while the Trojans swept Carroll (1-3 in area), giving Coach Steven Garrett’s team the edge as the area runner-up.

The state playoffs start on Wednesday. Eufaula will host Brookwood and Charles Henderson travels to play Area 7 champion Demopolis (17-4), which captured its sixth area title in eight years this season.

The Tigers are averaging .357 as a team hitting the ball with Clint Moody and Jonathon Sommers leading the way. Pitcher Cole Basinger sports a 7-2 pitching record as a Demopolis starter.

Several CHHS starters have matched-up against a few of the Tigers’ players before. Moody, Blake Butler, and Freddy Padilla, among others, were all part of a West Alabama American Legion team that squared off against Troy Post 70 last summer.

Charles Henderson’s baseball team last went on the road for the first round of the playoffs in 1999, Garrett’s first year as head coach. The Trojans fell to top-ranked Sylacauga that season and finished the year 16-15. In 2000, CHHS posted a 24-9 record and spent much of the year ranked in the top ten but lost 9-8 at home in the opening round to Jackson.

Last season was a bittersweet one for Charles Henderson as the Trojans had to overcome the death of assistant coach Terry Sikes midway through the year but battled back to finish 19-9 overall and advance to the second round of the playoffs, dropping another close game, this time to Chilton County, 4-3.