Trojans run rule Rehobeth

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, April 8, 2015

By Dan Smith

Regardless of what a team’s overall record may be, or how many higher-classification opponents you may have beaten, or where you are ranked in any poll – regardless of all of that – what matters is how you do in the high school area standings, or you will be sitting at home during the playoffs.

Charles Henderson High baseball continued its quest for reaching all of its goals Monday afternoon with an important and dominating 14-1 Class 5A, Area 3 victory on the road at Rehobeth, with two games to play against the Rebels this Thursday in Troy.

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CHHS, now 29-2 and ranked first in the state in Class 5A, has already clinched a playoff berth, but the winner of this best-of-three series will host the all-important first-round playoff games, to begin April 17-18.

Senior righty Austin Ingram made sure the seventh-ranked Rehobeth Rebels were kept off the bases, and the Trojans jumped on three Rehobeth pitchers for 14 runs on 15 hits in a six-inning contest.

“I was really pleased with the way our guys swung the bat, especially against the seventh-ranked team in the state on the road,” CHHS Head Coach Derek Irons said. “We started fast and kept getting quality at-bats for the whole game. Austin did a great job setting the tone on the mound and competed very well.

“Our seniors really set the tone. Reilly Fox had four hits, (Chase) Smartt homered, (Jason) Fleming reached base four times, and Cole Wilson had two hits.”

The top of the batting order was solid, as 11 of the Trojans’ 15 hits came from the first four batters in the lineup.

CHHS batted around in the top of the first inning as Nick Lewis singled, Fox doubled to drive in Lewis and Smartt launched a three-run homer over the left field fence. With two outs DeAndre Pitts was hit by a pitch, Wilson walked and both scored on a single up the middle by Bryson Gandy, and a 5-0 Trojan lead.

The Trojans took a 7-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Fox and Smartt singled, and with two outs Pitts and Wilson each singled to drive in the first two base runners.

Rehobeth got on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning by Wyatt Browning, making it 7-1.

A pitching change by Rehobeth in the top of the third held CHHS to only one run as Lewis and Fox singled, Smartt walked and Lewis scored on a sacrifice fly by Ingram, and it was 8-1.

The Trojans put five more runs on the board in the top of the fourth inning for a 13-1 advantage – all with two outs – as Fleming and Gandy walked, both scored on a single by Lewis, followed by consecutive doubles by Fox, Smartt and Ingram.

Wilson tripled in the top of the fifth inning and scored on an error by the pitcher for the 14-1 lead.

Ingram was strong on the mound, allowing one run on six hits, striking out six and walking none.

Fox was 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBI, while Lewis and Smartt each had three hits apiece. Smartt also had three RBI. Wilson had two hits, while Ingram, Pitts and Gandy had one hit each.

CHHS will host Rehobeth at Hogan’s Hole this Thursday for a 5 p.m. double-header.