Semifinal showdown

Published 10:15 pm Thursday, May 8, 2014

‘Battle tested’ Charles Henderson hits the road to meet Childersburg in fourth round

Charles Henderson has been here before.

About 365 days ago, the Trojans entered the AHSAA Semifinal round on the road against a team that many around the state feel was a better team. Charles Henderson defeated UMS-Wright last season and looks to do the same against Childersburg Friday afternoon.

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But Charles Henderson head coach Derek Irons believes it isn’t the playoff run last year, but the battles his team has been in this season, that will help the Trojans this weekend.

“These guys are battle tested,” Irons said. “We know that we are playing a very, very good baseball team this weekend. We are on the road in a hostile environment, but there is no other group of guys I would rather go in to this with. We are ready for the challenge.”

Childersburg finished the season ranked second in the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll, one spot behind top-ranked Charles Henderson.

The Tigers have lost only two times in 2014, once to Sipsey Valley and once to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

Childersburg’s Zack Lightsey went 9-0 on the mound during the regular season. Lightsey had a complete game win on the mound against Andalusia, allowing one earned run and striking out nine batters. He went 4-for-5 at the plate in the game two win.

The Tigers also feature five players – Reeves Brashear, Alex Bentley, Will Donahoo, Peyton Logan and Trevor Bates – that have signed college baseball scholarships.

“Childersburg is a fantastic baseball team,” said Irons. “This is what the playoffs are all about. It is the two best teams in the South playing for the right to go to Montgomery. It is No. 1 Vs. No. 2, and should be a great series.”

Irons said the Trojans have worked the entire season to earn the opportunity to defend their 2013 state title.

He feels his team has played the best the state of Alabama has to offer.

“If you put a map of the state up, and put pins on it we would have pins in almost every corner of the state,” Irons said. “Northview, Baldwin County, Muscle Shoals, Bob Jones, Eufaula, Bibb County, Mountain Brook and McGill would be on there. We have played the best from every part of the state. We feel that we are as ready as we can be to play a very good Childersburg team this week.

In an effort to beat the inclement weather forecast for Friday evening, the Friday doubleheader will begin at 12:30 p.m. in Childersburg.