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CHHS edges Rehobeth

SPECIAL TO THE MESSENGER

The Trojans of Charles Henderson High punched one run across in the top of the eighth inning and held off a Rehobeth comeback in the bottom of the eighth for a 4-3 victory Friday night at Hogan’s Hole in Troy and sending CHHS to the third round of the AHSAA Class 5A state playoffs.

CHHS, 28-10 on the season, defeated Rehobeth 6-1 in the first game as David Fleming kept the Rebels handcuffed for the pitching victory, with Mitch McLeod pitching a strong second game before giving way to Jared Rogers in relief.

The Trojans will face St. Paul on Friday in Mobile for a best two-of-three series in the Class 5A quarterfinals. St. Paul won a 15-14 slugfest over Spanish Fort in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday afternoon at Spanish Fort.

McLeod started the second game on the mound and retired the first 15 of 16 batters he faced, allowing only a fourth-inning infield single.

Nathan Barron gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when McLeod singled, Barron reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on an infield hit by Fleming.

The Trojans added another run in the top of the third as Parker Sanders singled, KD Edenfield walked and Sanders scored on a fly ball out hit by Dario Rouse combined with a throwing error.

Sanders singled and scored again in the top of the seventh to give CHHS a 3-0 lead, with McLeod driving another single for the RBI.

Having cruised through six complete innings allowing no runs on only one hit, McLeod surrendered three walks and a single in the bottom of the seventh, and left with the bases loaded and a 3-1 lead.

Rogers then came on and got a force-out at home plate on the first batter he faced, but the next hitter blooped a single with two outs over the CHHS third-baseman’s head, with two Rehobeth runs crossing the plate to tie the score at 3-3 following seven regulation innings.

In the top of the eighth inning, Jake Smith led off with a single to left field, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by David Fleming, moved to third on a wild pitch, and then Chance Shaver lofted a one-out fly ball to left field, with Smith tagging at third and scoring for the 4-3 lead.

Rogers got two quick outs in the bottom of the eighth before allowing a single and the next batter reached on an errant throw, but Rogers struck out the final batter to end the game with Rehobeth runners stranded on second and third.

“I was very proud of the effort and focus we showed in the final inning of game two,” said CHHS Head Coach Derek Irons. “We were able to overcome a lot of adversity in the end and come out with a big victory.

“Our 7-8-9 batters did a tremendous job in the top of the 8th. Jake Smith, David Fleming, and Chance Shaver each did their job and gave us the lead in a crucial point of the game. Mitch did a great job throwing strikes in game two and keeping them off balance. The defense played really well behind him and we made a lot of plays. David gave us a great outing in game one that set the tone for the day.”

The Trojans took a quick 2-0 lead in the first game as Sanders reached on a bunt single in the bottom of the first inning, KD Edenfield ripped a double to right field, and both runs scored on a single to right by Daniel Hartley.

Rehobeth cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the second inning, but CHHS added another run in the bottom of the third when Hartley walked, Barron was intentionally walked with two outs, and Smith welcomed the first pitch he saw by ripping a single up the middle to score Hartley for the 3-1 lead.

CHHS went up 5-1 in the fourth inning as Sanders walked and Rouse crushed a home run deep over the left field fence.

Shaver singled and scored in the sixth inning on a two-out double by Rouse.

Fleming allowed one run on four hits over seven innings, striking out seven and walking five.

Sanders, Rouse and McLeod had two hits each in the first game, while Edenfield, Hartley, Smith and Shaver had one each.

In the second game McLeod allowed three runs on two hits, striking out five and walking five over 6.2 innings.

Rogers allowed no runs on two hits, striking out two and hitting one batter.

Sanders had three hits in the second game, while McLeod had two hits and Hartley, Smith and Fleming had one hit each.