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CHHS clinches area title

An area championship is coming home to Troy, this after the Charles Henderson Trojans defeated Rehobeth 14-3 Thursday to clinch the area title.

“We talk about opportunities to win championships, and tonight was an opportunity to win a championship,” said CHHS head coach Derek Irons. “Our guys responded real well to that challenge.”

The Trojans, ranked No.1 in class 5A, got a strong performance from Mitch McLeod on the mound to help pick up the win. McLeod pitched the first six innings, striking out six, before giving way to Blake Hutchinson, who pitched the seventh inning.

The Trojan offense was also impressive, and Irons said Thursday was one of the team’s better performances all season.

“I thought our focus and enthusiasm was as good as it’s been all season,” Irons said. “We had a good approach at the plate, and we executed better than we have in a while. “

McLeod was 2-4 at the plate with three RBIs and a home run, while Chance Shaver was 2-4 with four RBIs.

With the area championship now wrapped up, the Trojans know they will be playing at home in the first round of the playoffs, which begin April 16.

Irons said the focus now becomes being as prepared as possible for the playoffs.

“This really gives us a chance to go out in these next few games and compete and work on some situational things,” Irons said. “We really want to be at our best come next Friday, so we’re just going to keep working in practice and in those games to fine tune our swings, our at-bats and get better defensively because that’s what we’ll need to do in order to have success in the playoffs.”