Trojans fall to Demopolis in first round series

Published 8:29 am Saturday, April 22, 2023

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The Charles Henderson Trojans (15-16) were swept in the opening round of the Class 5A State Playoffs on April 21 by the Demopolis Tigers 2-0.

Game one was a 12-inning marathon between the two sides with neither team able to pull the win out in regulation. After Demopolis went up 1-0 early, the Trojans scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning to go up 3-1. The Trojans took a 4-1 lead going into the seventh inning and looked to be on their way to earning a game one victory.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, though, Demopolis rallied to score three runs to force extra innings. Charles Henderson retook the lead 5-4 in the top of the eighth when Josh Hooten’s RBI single drove Kellen Stewart home. The Tigers answered in the bottom of the inning by scoring on an error to force a ninth inning.

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In the top of the ninth, KaNeil Lewis scored on a Demopolis error to put CHHS back up 6-5 and then Chase Vaznaian drove Damien Hart home with an RBI single into left field to extend the Trojan lead to 7-5. In the bottom of the ninth, Demopolis managed to score two more runs to tie the score at 7-7 and forced a 10th inning.

Neither team managed a run in the 10th or 11th innings. In the bottom of the 12th, facing two outs, Demopolis’ Reed Schumacher hit a walk-off single into left field that drove Calvin Knott home for the winning run.

Hart led CHHS at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs, while Parker Adams went 3-for-6 at the plate and Lewis scored two runs. Adams pitched eight innings and struck out six batters, while giving up nine hits and four earned runs.

After the grueling game one, Demopolis was able to cruise to a 10-3 win in game two to claim the series. The Trojans led 1-0 early but Demopolis scored five runs in the third inning and never looked back.

Will Templin, Hart and Vaznaian scored one run each, while Clay Johnson pitched four and 1/3 innings and fanned seven batters along with giving up four hits and nine earned runs.