Mabray leads Trojans to third straight shutout victory

Published 10:22 pm Thursday, March 7, 2013

MONTGOMERY — Charles Henderson backed up it’s brand new No. 1 ranking in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll with a 5-0 win over Marbury Thursday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.

The Trojans (10-1) continued their early season string excellent pitching by firing their third straight shutout. Houston Mabray went the distance on the hill for Charles Henderson striking out batters five batters, allowing no walks and giving up just two hits.

The Charles Henderson pitching staff has combined to give up five hits over the last three games, and head coach Derek Irons believes that the pitching staff is the strength of the team.

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“Another great day on the mound for us,” said Irons. “Our guys have really competed well up there. Houston attacked the strike zone well today, and challenged hitters. It is a team deal, and the defense played well behind Houston.”

Irons said the team didn’t hit the ball well as a whole, but got timely hits that helped move runners up, and ultimately in.

Blake Craft sent a shot to the left field corner in the second inning that scored Luke Hastings to give Charles Henderson the early 1-0 lead. Joey Denison sent a towering double to left field that bounced to the wall, some 390 feet from home, on just one hop. Tripp Blackmon and Chase Smartt scored on the play to give the Trojans a little breathing room at 3-0

“We left some runs on the table today,” said Irons. “Some nights you get the big hits and some nights you don’t. It makes the defense and great pitching all that more important.

Charles Henderson was able to add a couple of insurance runs in the later innings to give Mabray a comfortable lead to work with. Mabray cruised through the game, throwing eight pitches in the fifth and sixth inning combined.

The Trojans opened the day by receiving the news of their new No. 1 ranking, something that Irons says is a blessing and a burden at the same time.

“It’s a great thing for the kids, because I know that they have earned it,” said Irons. “But we also talked about how that it doesn’t get you anything. It doesn’t get you a win, a ring, a blue map or an extra run in a game. We just have to come out everyday and try to play as good as we can.”

Irons said the team will try to get “1 percent better” on Friday at practice, before heading back to Montgomery on Saturday. Charles Henderson will play a double header at historic Patterson Field against LAMP at 3 p.m. and Providence Christian at 6 p.m.