Chelsea bats come alive against Shelby County
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer
CHELSEA — As with most rivalry games, the Chelsea Hornets baseball squad brought its best when arch-nemesis Shelby County came to town Feb. 25.
While the Wildcats got out to an early lead, the Hornets came back to take a dominant 11-1 win.
Neither team got anything going through the first inning, and it was the Wildcats who got on the scoreboard first. Zach Scott reached on an error, and moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Johnathon Palmer. Scott then took third on a passed ball. Nicholas Lowery then ripped a single up the middle to bring Scott home to put Shelby County up 1-0.
Chelsea answered the challenge in the bottom of the second, when a two-out single by Hunter Howard turned into runs by Howard and Adam Holliday to put the Hornets up 2-1.
After Shelby County stranded Hunter Horton on third in the third, Chelsea’s Jacob Green opened the bottom frame with a triple. He then scored on a passed ball to put the Hornets up 3-1.
After the Wildcats went scoreless in the top of the fourth, Chelsea opened up the offensive floodgates. Adam Holliday opened the inning with a single, moving to second on a wild pitch and third on a sacrifice bunt by Patrick Castillo and then A.J. Jones drew a walk.
James Masters laid down a bunt that was fielded soundly but thrown off the back of Masters helmet as went up the first base line. Both Holliday and Jones scored on the play, as did Masters when Jones attempted to throw him out at second but overthrew the base. When the dust settled, the Hornets found themselves ahead 6-1.
Neither team scored again until the Hornets exploded again in the bottom of the sixth. Nathan Hardenbergh, Jones, Austin McClelland,Tyler Blackburn and James Calhoun all scored to give the Hornets an 11-1 mercy-rule induced win.
Head coach Michael Stallings said he was proud of his team’s effort.
“We had a very good approach at the plate tonight,” he said. “I’ve been challenging our guys to continue getting better with their approaches at the plate, and tonight I thought we (did). Our pitcher did a phenomenal job (and) threw a lot of strikes.”
Stats were unavailable at press time, as the squads will face again in Columbiana March 14.