Hornets sweep Moody

Published 11:01 pm Friday, April 17, 2009

Chelsea swept Moody Friday, 10-7 and 6-3, to advance to its first Class 5A second round, which will be played in familiar territory at Briarwood’s Jay D. Kynerd Field next weekend. But as the Hornets begin to prepare for their next games with Briarwood, they’re working on a way to not repeat the previous three results.

“By the way the first three games have gone with Briarwood, hopefully we don’t feel much pressure,” Chelsea head coach Jason Smith said.

Chelsea, the Class 5A, Area 8 runner-up, lost all three meetings this season to the Area 8 champion Briarwood Lions, falling twice to Briarwood ace Ben Bracewell.

“For us to be able to beat them we’ve got to be a great team,” Smith said. “We have to go out there and force a game three, if we can. Our odds are a lot better in a game three series and we look forward to that.”

One thing Chelsea will have to avoid is falling apart late in the game like it did the last two outings against Briarwood. Friday, the Hornets struggled early against Moody, allowing seven unearned runs in the first four innings, six of which came off three errors, three hits and four walks in the first two innings.

But just as Chelsea began to fall apart in the field, so did Moody, allowing the Hornets to score three in the third and six in the fourth to take a 9-7 lead.

“It was a sloppy game all the way around, but we just chipped away and found a way to win,” Smith said.

Blake Yance picked up the win in the first game, allowing all unearned runs off four hits and seven walks. He struck out six.

Game two was better for Chelsea, as the Hornets took a 6-3 win off nine hits. Moody jumped on the board in the first, but third baseman Zac Hilliard, who was 3-for-7 with two home runs and seven RBIs in the series, hit a solo home run to put the Hornets on the board. Trailing 2-1 in the third, Hilliard scored on an RBI by Ben Craft to tie the game. Yance later broke the game open with a bases-loaded triple in the fourth and scored on an RBI single by Craft to take a 6-2 lead. Chelsea pitcher Blake Woo, allowed just one more run, as he picked up the complete game victory with only one earned run and six hits, while striking out four.

While Chelsea managed to pull together for the second game, Smith says his team needs to find consistency.

“To advance in the playoffs, we’ve got to find consistency every time that we play,” he said.