Russell County sweep past CHHS

Published 10:40 pm Friday, April 22, 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)

Since joining the Charles Henderson baseball program three years ago, head coach Derek Irons has won at least one playoff series each season.

Unfortunately, there is a first time for everything.

In the opening round of the 2011 playoffs, the Trojans traveled to Russell County in a series against the Warriors.

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It was there that the CHHS season would come to an end, after Russell County swept the first two games by the scores of 14-3 and 15-3.

The two losses give the Trojans a 20-14 overall final record for the season.

“Two things happened,” Irons said.

“I think the game got away from us, things started happening too fast for us. That happens in sports sometimes, (Russell County) got off to a great start and we didn’t. That was by far the best team we have seen all season long, without question.”

This is the shortest playoff run for the Trojans since the 2007 season, when Sylacauga swept CHHS in the second round.

The opening round loss is the first for the team in orange and blue in five years.

“Last season, our season ended to the eventual state champions (in Spanish Fort),” Irons said.

“If (Russell County) continues to play the same way they did (Friday night), I think it could be the same thing again this year.”

This was the fifth time this season the Trojans have allowed 10 or more runs to an opponent – with each of those games resulting in a loss.

Besides a strong Russell County team playing well, Irons said the inability for his team to hit, field and pitch out of difficult situations played a factor.

“I think it was a little bit of everything, the coach said.

“I don’t think we made one mistake on the mound, that they didn’t jump all over. They bats put a lot of pressure on our pitchers and every time we left (a ball) up, they put it in the gap or over the fence.

“We didn’t play up to our standards in all three fascists of the game and that really hurt us, especially against a good team like Russell County,” Irons added.

The back-to-back losses ended the Trojans careers for five different players, Tyler Dansby, Kane Meredith, Harrison Reeves, Chase Connell and Blake Hutchinson.

“This was tough,” Irons said.

“We had so much going against us and had to deal with so much adversity – it’s hard to see the season end like this.

“I felt like we did a lot of good things this season and if we were able to get everything on the same page, things maybe would have been different (in the playoffs).”