Overmatched: Trojans have season come to a close after opening round sweep at the hands of St. Paul’s

Published 9:44 pm Friday, April 20, 2018

St. Paul’s Episcopal of Mobile took a 14-7 win over Charles Henderson High in the first game and a 12-0 decision in the second in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs in Troy Friday at Hogan’s Hole.

Prior to the first game, four new jersey signs were unveiled in right field of Hogan’s Hole, honoring the only four retired jersey’s in CHHS baseball history. Retired in previous years, those new signs included jerseys of Mike Hogan, Butch Austin, Brian Meadows and the late Terry Sikes.

Once the first game began, St. Paul’s took a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Trojans tacked on a run in their first at bat when Chance Pollard singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Lawson Scarbrough to make the score 4-1.

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The Saints led 12-1 after the top of the fifth, but the Trojans added four in the bottom half when Will Reeves was hit by a pitch, Walker Stallworth singled, Pollard reached on an error, Chris Maxwell was hit by a pitch, and Lowery hit a double to drive in three runs, cutting the lead to 12-5.

St. Paul, improving to 24-7 and ranked third in the state in the final AHSAA 5A rankings, went up 14-5 in the sixth, and CHHS added two more to make it 14-7 when Jaylen Deveridge walked, Reeves was hit by a pitch, Stallworth reached on an infield error, with Deveridge and Reeves scoring that inning to make it 14-7, which held up to be the final.

CHHS managed four hits in the first game as Pollard and Stallworth had one each, while Lowery had two.

Lowery and Caden Bryan worked on the mound in the first game, while Herndon Akridge went the distance for St. Paul’s, allowing four hits and striking out 13.

In the second game St. Paul’s took advantage of seven CHHS errors and collected six hits to score two in the first, two in the second, six in the third and two in the fourth for the 12-0 win.

CHHS managed only two hits off Saints’ righty John Snyder, who struck out eight. Pollard and Scarbrough each had one hit for the Trojans.

“We did not play the best we’ve played all year,” said CHHS head coach Matt Whitton, “I thought we did a really good job of competing in the first game against a really quality pitcher, and gave ourselves a chance to stay in the ballgame and get a win.”

The Trojans, ending the year at 11-22, only lose one senior, Noah Lowery, and return many young quality players for next season.

“We’ve got a really good group of kids,” said Whitton. “We’re going to end up being a really good ball club. Looking forward, its good to see how many we have coming back. We are going to work this fall, summer and spring and we’ll be ready. They believe we are going to be better in the spring and so do I.”