CHHS faces tough Russell County squad

Published 9:59 pm Thursday, April 26, 2012

Charles Henderson's Houston Mabray releases a pitch during a baseball game in Troy, Ala., Thursday, March 29, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

In a showdown of two of the state’s top five teams, Charles Henderson High School will host Russell County in the second round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association baseball playoffs today.

“We’ve wanted Russell County,” shortstop Michael Fox said. “They beat us pretty bad last year and we want to prove we’re better than that.”

The fifth-ranked Trojans will have their hand full as top-ranked Russell County visits Frazier Field.

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The Warriors are 38-10 and swept CHHS out of the playoffs a year ago.

“I think this is a different team,” first baseman Joey Denison said. “Ever since last season, we’ve wanted to play them again.”

The Trojans earned their cahnce after defeating Tallassee 3-2 and 3-0 in the first round.

Charles Henderson (26-7) has played in the postseason for 14 consecutive seasons now and everyone on this year’s team looks out to the right center field wall and aspires to be like the 2004 team that hung a state championship banner.

“We want to be like them,” Denison said. “We want to see our names up there.”

The Trojans will face Russell County with a stable of pitchers that allowed just eight combined hits in two game against Tallassee.

Houston Mabray and Tripp Blackmon earned wins on the mound in round one with Blackmon’s being a eight-inning shutout.

Charles Henderson and Russell County will kick off the best-of-three series at 4:30p.m. with an “if-necessary” game scheduled for 1p.m. on Saturday should the teams split.