End of the line
After splitting the first two games of the semi-final matchup, the Charles Henderson Trojans entered Saturday’s game against Spanish Fort with a two different opportunities.
If the team won the decisive game three, it would advance to the state championship game, and if it lost, the Trojans’ season would come to an end.
Unfortunately for CHHS and its fans, the latter happened on Saturday.
After tying the game up at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning, the Toros answered right back in the following half inning with a Grand Slam, giving Spanish Fort a 5-1 lead and ending any hopes or the Trojans marching back to the state championship game for the first time since 2008.
The Toros would continue its offensive outburst in the next innings, pushing five runs across the plate, going on to beat the Trojans, 10-1.
“We talked about how small the margin of error and how you have to play extremely well to get to the semi-finals in 5A,” head coach Derek Irons said Monday night. “And once you get to the (semi-finals), you have to be perfect.
“I thought we played well in all three games, but one swing of the bat completely changed game three. They grabbed all the momentum and we just couldn’t find a way to get it back,” he said.
The loss brought the Trojans’ 2010 final record to 34-9, however, the 34 wins are the second most in the programs long history.
Those 34 wins also helped the CHHS baseball program receive its first ever No. 1 ranking in the ASWA poll.
Even in defeat, Irons said there was much for his team to be proud of.
“It was hard to look at the loss on Saturday,” the coach said.
“But now, I think the guys are starting to understand everything they did this season.
“At the beginning of the season, 64 teams were looking to win a championship. There were only two that made is further than us and only one team can finish the season where they want to be.
“It’s tough, but one weekend of baseball is not going to overshadow four months of really good baseball,” Irons added.