CHHS prepares for home double-header

Published 9:19 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

Charles Henderson High School's Jalin Lawson (2) hits the ball during a baseball game against Rehobeth High School in Troy, Ala., Thursday, April 7, 2011. CHHS lost 6-1. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

For the second time in two days, the Trojans of Charles Henderson will be playing in a double-header.

This time around, the team in orange and blue will be back at home in the friendly confines of Frazier Field, and looking to close out the it regular season home schedules with wins over Slocomb and Bibb County.

The Trojans will enter the game with an overall record of 17-11, thanks to a split against the Brantley Bulldogs Thursday afternoon, on the road.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

While the offense has been contributing at a high rate, putting 10 or more runs on the scoreboard 12 out of the last 15 games, it’s the pitching and defense that have been hurting CHHS the most.

Those are the two areas head coach Derek Irons said he hopes to see improvement in this weekend, especially with the playoffs just a week away.

Up first for the Trojans will be Slocomb, who has already beaten CHHS once this season, back in March in the G.W. Long Tournament.

“They are a good team, and they have Clay Holmes on the mound,” Irons said, “and when he is on the mound, he makes there team really, really good.

“We can’t control that though. Only thing we can control is our approaches at the plate and the way we pitch – and that’s where we have to stay focused to try and win.”

The aforementioned Holmes, who went 11-5 last season, including 126 strikeouts in 89 innings, signed with the Auburn Tigers this past summer.

“We are going to have to play well, or we are not going to get the result we want,” the Trojan head coach said.

“This is a good time for us to go out there compete, play hard and see how we stack up against some of these other teams.”

With the first round of the playoffs starting on Friday, April 22, Irons acknowledged that the two games today were ones that would serve as a good evaluator for what to expect in the second season.

“Defensively consistency is something we have talked about a lot during practice,” Irons said.

“Our offense has been outstanding for the past 15 games or so. We have looked really good at the plate. But our defense and pitching has been hurting us. These games are a good warm up for the playoffs. Obviously, we want to win, but what’s just as important it getting better in the field and on the mound.”

The depth of the Trojans’ pitching staff will be something looked at this weekend by the coaches, as the team looks to fill in the No. 1 slot, which was vacated when senior Harrison Reeves took a ground ball to the face, while playing first base against Rehobeth last Thursday.

“I think we are going to have a lot better idea where we are at after (Saturday),” Irons said.

“That should give us some stability on the mound. We are running two guys out there (Tripp Blackmon and Blake Hutchinson) that have logged a lot of innings for us this year. Hopefully, they can give us some quality starts.”

Blackmon will pitch in game one, with a start time set for 11 a.m., while Hutchinson will go in game two, against Bibb County, at 5 p.m. at Riddle Pace Field.