CHHS gets pair of wins on day two at Gulf Shores tourney

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013

By Mike Hensley

GULF SHORES- The Trojans of Charles Henderson swept a double-header on Tuesday afternoon beating Huntsville and Austin on the backs of great starting pitching in the Gulf Shores baseball tournament.

The Trojans came back after a rough first inning to beat Huntsville 7-4 in the day’s first game for Charles Henderson. They followed that up with a convincing 11-1 win over Austin in a mercy rule shortened game.

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“I was really proud the way we bounced back from last night. We didn’t play the way we wanted to last night and we didn’t start off very well today with the four runs.” Trojan head coach Derek Irons said. “Our guys never checked up and kept their nose to the grindstone.”

In both games the starters, Xavius Burden, and Tripp Blackmon combined to pitch 9 2/3 innings and only let up four runs. They also combined to throw 10 strikeouts against both Huntsville and Austin.

“Xav (Xavius), Luke, and Tripp pitched outstanding and they gave the bats the time to be able to catch up.” Irons said. “We didn’t start either game hitting well but those guys did an incredible job. They battled their tails off and gave us a chance to win.”

In the first game against Huntsville, the Trojans got off to rough start as Burden saw a total of seven players reach base on 5 singles and couple of walks. By the end of the inning the Trojans saw 4 Huntsville runs come a across home plate giving them the early lead.

The offense picked up Burden in the bottom half of the inning when they plated two runs off a base hit by Austin Ingram scoring Chase Smartt and Kenneth Blackmon to cut their deficit in half.

From there Burden settled down and pitched the next s 3 2/3 without letting up another run and only letting up two base hits.

“He gave up four, but he really didn’t pitch that bad. He had a couple close calls that didn’t go his way and Huntsville handled the bats better than anyone that I have seen and they took what we gave them.” Irons said. “I thought he did a great job understanding that he was pitching well even though the outcome wasn’t what we wanted. He kept grinding it out and gave us everything he had.”

After going scoreless in the second the bats picked up again. The Trojans scored three runs in the third on three base hits giving the Trojans their first lead of the game.

“Our guys had good approaches. (At the plate) If you go up there and try to do too much you’re not going to have much success.” Irons said. “We put a lot of runs on the board but we didn’t necessarily hit balls off the wall either.”

Huntsville mounted one last rally in the fifth inning when they had the bases loaded with one out. Coach Irons brought in Lucas Hastings to close out the inning and he did just that. He finished the game without surrendering a run in the game’s final two innings.

The second game for the Trojans would start off with them once again trailing, only this time it was 1-0 and the Trojans answered right away and put up two runs in the third.

From there the Trojans took off scoring three runs in the fourth, four runs in the fifth, and one in the sixth.

That was all starting pitcher Blackmon needed. He went the distance striking out seven batters and only allowing 4 hits.

With the two wins the Trojans record improves to 21-2 on the year. They continue to play in the Gulf Shores tournament tomorrow when they play Baldwin County High School. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.