Hornets top rival Wildcats

Chelsea High School senior Eli Bashour heads to first base after a hit in the Hornets' 18-4 win over rival Shelby County in high school baseball action March 6. (Contributed/Cari Dean)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

The Chelsea High School baseball team defeated rival Shelby County 18-4 in its opening game in Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 5A, Area 7 action March 6.

The Hornets used three 6-run innings to take down the Wildcats.

After Shelby County jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, Chelsea scored six runs in the bottom half of the frame to take a 6-1 lead. The Wildcats plated two more runs in the top of the third inning to cut the deficit to 6-3, but the Hornets again scored six runs in the bottom of the third inning to push their lead to 12-3.

Chelsea scored six more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to race out to an 18-3 lead before Shelby County scored its final run in the top of the fifth inning.

Matthew Graben led the Hornets at the plate as he went 3-for-5 with three singles. Graben drove in two runs and scored two runs in the victory.

Austin Dean finished 2-for-3 and scored a run. Nathan Roddy, who drove in two runs and scored three runs, went 2-for-3 at the plate. Tripp Hobbs went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in a pair of runs.

Joey Mock, who drove in a run and scored a run, went 1-for-1 at the plate. Eli Bashour, who drove in two runs and scored one run, went 1-for-3 at the plate. Brody Holder finished 1-for-2 at the plate and scored two runs. Cooper Page went 1-for-1 and drove in a run.

Keelan Gregg and Davis Shoemaker drove in one run each. Shoemaker also scored three runs. Michael Bell and Alex Dean scored two runs each, while Gregg scored one run.

Hobbs picked up his second win on the mound this season in his third complete game. Hobbs gave up four runs, including two earned runs, on six hits with nine strikeouts and a walk in the complete-game victory.

Evan McNeal led Shelby County as he went 2-for-3 at the plate and scored two runs.

Josh Pennington went 1-for-3 and drove in two runs. Dakota Falkner finished 1-for-3 with a double. Evan Nash went 1-for-3. Brandon McKinney, Bailey Benton and Jacob Pennington each went 1-for-2 at the plate.

Benton and Chad Wave scored one run each for the Wildcats.

Falkner took the loss after giving up six earned runs on six hits with a strikeout and a walk in 1 2/3 innings.

Jacob Pennington allowed two earned runs and issued two walks in 2/3 of an inning. McNeal struck out one batter and issued one walk while giving up one hit in 2/3 of an inning.

Jacob Tidmore allowed one earned run on four hits with a strikeout and three walks in the final inning.