Fitts goes the distance as Helena beats Pelham 7-2

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–After rainy weather forced the game to be pushed back an extra day, the hype was still there surrounding the first match-up of the season between area rivals Helena and Pelham on Wednesday, March 21, as the Huskies pulled away for a 7-2 win.

Helena starting pitcher Richard Fitts went the distance with another outstanding outing, while also getting help from his offense, as the Huskies finished with 12 hits as a team in the win.

Pelham would begin the game on top however as Kasey Clark hit an RBI single in the top of the first inning to score Cody Ferguson from second to make it 1-0 Panthers.

Helena would quickly tie the game in the bottom half of the inning after an RBI double by Nick Ragsdale scored Blake McAbee to tie the game 1-1.

Pelham’s final run of the game came in the top of the second inning after an error, single and sacrifice bunt put a runner at third with two outs. The strategy worked as Mitchell Rottier hit an RBI single to put Pelham ahead 2-1.

The lead would not last long however as Ragsdale came through in a big way in the bottom of the third inning.

Helena’s Brody Moss started the inning with a leadoff single and two batters later, Ragsdale hit a home run over the left field wall to make it 3-2 Huskies.

Over the final four innings, Fitts settled into a groove on the mound as he gave up just one hit while striking out five.

Fitts was provided some insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as Colton Hood hit an RBI double to stretch the lead to 4-2, followed by RBI singles by Nick Thompson and Trevor Bell to make it 6-2. Helena added a final run in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Landon Green to score Landon Leake.

Fitts pitched seven complete innings while giving up six hits and striking out nine to pick up the win for Helena. He gave up just one earned run.

Senior catcher Ragsdale had a great day at the plate going 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and a single with three RBIs. He also drew a walk.

Green went 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored for Helena as well.

Rottier was the losing pitcher for Pelham giving up six earned runs and eight hits in 4.1 innings pitched.

After losing four of their last five, the win helped Helena improve to 10-7 on the season and 1-0 in area play.

Pelham fell to 9-7 and 0-1 in area play.