Smartt, Denison, Ingram powering Charles Henderson in to post-season play

Published 11:01 pm Friday, April 12, 2013

Baseball fans around the world know the sound. In the Majors, it’s the crack of a wood bat, but in college, high school and recreation leagues it is  a sudden, high-pitched “ping.”

Spectators at Charles Henderson baseball games have heard the ping of hard hit balls numerous times. The Trojans’ version of “Murderer’s Row,” Chase Smartt, Joey Denison and Austin Ingram, provide a powerful punch in the middle of the Charles Henderson batting order.

Each of the batters brings a different flair to their approach and swing.

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Smartt, a sophomore catcher and son of Troy assistant coach Mark Smartt, is a multi-tool player. Smartt is slotted in the three spot of the Trojan order most days, and has shown a knack for getting hits in pressure situations.

“I believe we at times kind of take Chase for granted,” said Irons with a smile. “He is so good at the plate and behind it on defense. He busted us out of slump against Headland a few weeks ago with a big double. He is a very solid player on both ends.”

Denison, a senior first baseman, provided a big time dose of power from the cleanup spot. Numerous times in 2013, the soft-spoken senior has challenged the “Blue Monster” in left field of Hogan’s Hole. More often than not, Denison’s powerful strokes have cleared the fence and landed deep in the protected wetlands that lie just beyond the wall.

Irons has full confidence in his power hitting first baseman.

“Joey has provided some good power at times this season,” said Irons. “He has also had some at bats where he has poked a single through the opposite side or moved runners over. He has been a huge contributor at the plate for us.”

The back end of the power-hitting trio, sophomore outfielder and pitcher Austin Ingram, is in his first full season with the varsity team and has provided numerous big hits for the Trojans.

One of the more memorable hits by Ingram occurred in a game versus Ashford, where Ingram launched a ball through, yes through, the center field wall.

Irons was baffled about what had occurred.

“I really didn’t know what had happened until after the game was over,” Irons said with a light laugh. “I have coached for a few years, but that was the first time I have seen a ball actually go through a wall.”

While Smartt, Denison and Ingram have provided the punch to the Trojan offense, Irons said that the batting up and down the order has improved greatly throughout the season.

“I believe the perfect word to describe this team is ‘solid’,” said Irons. “We don’t do anything overly great, but we don’t do anything bad either. We have the opportunity to make some noise if we stay focused and try to get a little better every day.

Charles Henderson will face rival Enterprise on the road in a double header on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.