Published 10:29 pm Friday, March 19, 2010
Area play began for the Trojans of Charles Henderson Friday night, and much like the pay that preceded it, Charles Henderson came up on the winning end.
The Trojans defeated Eufaula 4-1 at Frazier Field behind a complete game on the mound from Mitch McLeod.
“Mitch was incredibly gutsy tonight,” said CHHS head coach Derek Irons. “He showed a lot of heart on the mound. Defense and Mitch McLeod are the reasons we won this game.”
McLeod gave up just four hits over the course of the game, while striking out nine. McLeod was also a terror on the base paths, stealing two bases and scoring two runs.
Things got off to a rocky start for McLeod, as the first Eufaula batter of the game came around to score, giving EHS a 1-0 lead after the top of the first.
Eufaula held that lead until the bottom of the second, when the Lawson brothers helped to tie things up for CHHS.
Jalin Lawson drove in Quay Lawson to tie that game at one.
The two teams remained tied until the bottom of the fourth, when Quay Lawson drove in McLeod with a groundout. The RBI put the Trojans up for good.
Eufaula threatened to take the lead in the sixth, putting runners on second and third with nobody out, but McLeod worked his way out of the jam by retiring the next three batters.
CHHS added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, when they turned two walks, two passed balls and a wild pitch into two runs.
Jalin Lawson finished the game 2-2 with a single, a double and an RBI to lead the Trojans. Quay Lawson was 1-2 with an RBI, and Chance Shaver added Charles Henderson’s only other hit of the game.
Despite the win, Irons said he was unhappy with his team’s performance.
“I thought we played very poorly,” Irons said. “We were incredibly fortunate to be able to win this game.”
While Irons was unhappy with the Trojans’ play, he said he recognized the importance of getting off to a good start in area play.
“We’re 1-0 in the area, and that’s what’s most important,” Irons said. “Sometimes you just have to find ways to get wins. We just had some big defense in big moments tonight.”
Normally, the Trojans would now switch gears and start looking ahead to their next opponent, but CHHS and Eufaula still have some unfinished business.
The two teams meet again today in Eufaula at noon. If Eufaula wins, there will be a second game in order to ensure that the two teams cannot finish the season tied with one another in the area standings.
The Trojans only need one win to take the season series, but Irons said they will have to improve in order to do so.
“We’ve got to have better at bats,” Irons said.
“We just did a poor job of putting pressure on them. We struck out too much, and we didn’t execute. We’ve got to execute better offensively.”