Fox steps up for Trojans

Published 3:00 am Saturday, April 4, 2015

By Dan Smith

Reilly Fox has been the every-day second-baseman this season, but Friday evening the senior worked five strong innings on the mound and DeAndre Pitts had three extra-base hits as the Trojans of Charles Henderson High defeated defending Class 2A state champion Houston Academy 13-4 Friday at Riddle-Pace Field in the first of three tough home games this weekend.

Saturday morning the Trojans take on Muscle Shoals in an 11 a.m. contest at Hogan’s Hole, and will then return to Riddle-Pace Saturday evening at 5 p.m. to play a strong Paxton, Fla., program.

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Paxton went deep in the playoffs last year in Florida, is 13-1 on the year in 2015, and plays Florence at 2 p.m. before taking on the Trojans.

Friday evening CHHS scored one run in the bottom of the first inning as Nick Lewis walked, Fox reached on a fielder’s choice, and scored later on a wild pitch for the 1-0 lead.

The Trojans batted around in the second inning to score six runs. Cole Wilson led things off with a walk, Hunter Reeves cranked a double to the center field wall, Lewis walked, Fox singled, Wright Graning ran for the pitcher, Chase Smartt walked and Austin Ingram ripped a single, and DeAndre Pitts doubled to drive in another run for the 7-0 lead.

Smartt tripled to deep left-center and scored in the bottom of the fourth on an ground out by Ingram, and an 8-0 lead.

Fox cruised through his five innings, allowing no runs through the first four innings before the Raiders got two in the top of the fifth to make it 8-2.

CHHS got one run back in the bottom of the fifth as Pitts doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Reeves.

Houston Academy touched reliever Jason Fleming for two runs in the top of the sixth, before Fleming closed the door on any comeback.

The Trojans added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth as Fox, Smartt and Hartley singled, Pitts tripled, and Wilson drove in a run with a sacrifice for the 13-4 lead, and later the final.

Pitts had two doubles and a triple on the evening, while Fox, Smartt and Reeves had two hits each. Ingram had one hit and three RBI, while Hartley also had one hit.

On the mound Fox worked five innings, allowing two runs on six hits, striking out five and walking one.

Fleming worked two innings, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out three.

“This was our first game back home following spring break,” said CHHS Head Coach Derek Irons. “Tuesday in game one (at Northview) we really did not swing the bats well, and in game two we kind of got it going, and I was very proud to see us keep that momentum going today, using the whole field.

“Even several of our outs I thought we hit really well. Reilly did a great job on the mound. He’s a senior and has not pitched a whole lot, but we needed him today and he did a great job.”