Pitching, bats give CHHS win at tourney
By Dan Smith
Rain and inclement weather forced tournament directors to be creative with the original schedule Saturday, but Charles Henderson High baseball was able to get in a game and left town with a win over Brewbaker Tech at Montgomery’s Paterson Field in the Jason Armstrong FCA Tournament.
CHHS senior Cole Wilson struck out nine and allowed only two earned runs over seven innings as the Trojans defeated Brew Tech 9-3 in the final game of the tournament.
The Trojans were originally scheduled to play two games Saturday against Brew Tech and Geneva, but due to multiple rainouts and tournament game cancellations in Montgomery, the schedule was revised to a single game for CHHS.
“We have had some issues with the weather this season, but we’re very fortunate compared to many of the other teams around the state,” said CHHS Head Coach Derek Irons. “Some teams in north Alabama have only played a handful of games four weeks into the season. We were thrilled to at least get in one of our scheduled games on Saturday.”
The Trojans improved to 17-0 on the season, are ranked No. 1 in the state in the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 5A poll, and are also ranked No. 28 in the nation by The Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, the first national ranking ever for a CHHS baseball team.
Both teams were scoreless for two innings Saturday, before the Trojans went up 3-0 on singles by Nick Lewis and Reilly Fox, Chase Smartt doubled, Austin Ingram singled and Chase Hartley pushed a run across with a sacrifice fly.
Brew Tech cut the lead to 3-1 in the third, but the Trojans took a 6-1 advantage in the top of the fifth with two outs as Smartt singled, Ingram mashed a deep double to left-center, Hartley singled and DeAndre Pitts singled to score Hartley.
Brewbaker added two more in the bottom of the fifth making it 6-3, but CHHS went ahead 9-3 in the top of the seventh inning as Fox singled, Smartt tripled to right, Ingram tripled to center and scored on a wild pitch.
Fox was 4-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, Smartt was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI, and Ingram was 3-for-4 with two runs scored an an RBI.
Pitts had two hits while Lewis, Hartley and Bryson Gandy had one hit apiece.
“Our hitters have done a good job of making adjustments this year, and we have generally done better the second time through the order after we get a better feel for the opposing pitcher,” said Irons. “I was very pleased with the three-run inning in the seventh to put the game away.
“We have competed and executed well so far, and we are improving each week which is the most important thing. With the success of the last two years I think our guys understand that we must improve every day if we intend on continuing to compete at the highest level.”
The Trojans travel to Montgomery today to take on Trinity in a makeup of a game rained out earlier this season. Greenville High School visits CHHS on Thursday for a 5 p.m. Class 5A, Area 3 contest, and CHHS travels to Greenville for a double-header on Friday.
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