Charles Henderson opens area play with win

Published 10:24 pm Friday, March 16, 2012

Charles Henderson took the first step in its goal of winning an area baseball title. The Trojans defeated Eufaula High School, 6-1 on Friday night.

Charles Henderson’s offense sputtered through the first four innings but managed to score a run in each the first and the third though they left seven runners stranded in that stretch.

Jalin Lawson singled in the first but Gregory Barnette was thrown out at third to record the second out in an attempt to stretch a base. After Lawson stole second, Joey Denison followed with a single to give the Trojan an early 1-0 lead.

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Barnette would single for the second time in the game to lead off the third inning. Tripp Blackmon drove him home three batters later with a sacrifice fly to right field.

“We had chances early to get the big inning but kept leaving them out there,” head coach Derek Irons said. “We talked about have an approach and staying with it throughout the game and I think we did that.”

The Trojans would break the game open with a four-run fifth inning. A deep fly ball off the bat of Blackmon was dropped by the Eufaula right fielder just shy of the wall allowing two runs to score. Luke Hastings would add an RBI single in the inning to give Chalres Henderson the 6-1 lead.

Houston Mabray was outstanding on the mound for Charles Henderson as he pitched seven innings allowing just one run on six hits. Mabray struck out four and walked just one.

“Mabray did a great job on the mound,” Irons said. “He competed his tail off and that’s what we needed to get off on the right foot in area play.”

Barnette, Lawson and Denison would all finish the game 2-for-3.

Charles Henderson will travel to Eufaula in a doubleheader rematch with the Tigers on Saturday. Irons feels the next two games are pivotal.

“I told out guys that our season comes down to three game series,” he said. “Area games and the playoff are played in three game series and one win isn’t good enough. It’s a good start but if we don’t play our best tomorrow, today means nothing.”

Tripp Blackmon is expected to start the first game on the mound.

Game time in Eufaula is set for noon.