Chelsea plays well at Hoover tourney
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
HOOVER – The Chelsea Hornets haven’t shown any signs of weakness this season despite 10 losses following the Hoover spring break tournament.
The Hornets have not only beaten some of the state’s best teams, but all 10 of their losses have come by four runs or less to good teams as well.
Now 13-10 overall, Chelsea finished its spring break stay in Hoover with a 3-2 overall record, including a 3-1 victory against Hoover and both losses by two runs or less to Briarwood and Houston (TN).
A recap from the Hornets’ showing at the tournament is below.
Game 1: Chelsea 12, Wetumpka 1
Chelsea started the tournament off with a bang against Wetumpka by pulling off a five-inning mercy-rule victory thanks to eight first-inning runs.
The Hornets gave up one run in the bottom of the second, but added two in the third and two in the fifth to pull away for an easy 12-1 victory. They outhit the Indians 11-4.
Nolan Forehand went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs and two runs scored. Will Peacock led the team with three RBIs after going 1-for-3. Jacob Tinnell and Connor Ball both picked up a hit and drove in two runs, while Austin Frye went 3-for-3 in the game. Brady Morgan and Adam Reaves both added an RBI as well.
Brock Hill got the complete-game victory allowing just four hits and one run while striking out seven.
Game 2: Chelsea 3, Hoover 1
Chelsea used that momentum from the opening win in the tournament to fuel a huge win against Hoover in its second game.
The Hornets didn’t run away with it with runs coming in the first, fifth and sixth innings, but Ball and Forehand being locked in on the mound was key.
After scoring one run in the first inning, the next three innings of the game went by scoreless. Chelsea then added a run apiece in the next two innings for a 3-0 lead. Hoover’s only answer came in the bottom of the sixth with one run, which led to the Hornets picking up the 3-1 victory.
Ball got the start on the mound and went six innings allowing six hits and striking out four. Forehand entered in relief to close out the final inning and allowed one hit but no runs while striking out one.
Bennett Horton went 2-for-3 and Jacob Boyle went 2-for-4, while Forehand and Tinnell both picked up one RBI with one hit.
Game 3: Chelsea 5, Briarwood 6
Chelsea’s first of two straight losses in the tournament came at the hands of Briarwood in a thrilling walk-off game.
Briarwood stormed out in front with four runs in the fist and one in the second to take a 5-1 advantage early in the game. That was followed by three consecutive scoreless innings between the two, before Chelsea started its comeback attempt.
The Hornets posted one run in the sixth to cut the deficit to three runs, and then came back in the seventh and put together some clutch play to score three runs and tie the game at 5-5.
Briarwood, however, had a big answer in the bottom half to make all of that work by Chelsea for naught. After a walk and single from the Lions was followed by a second out, Bryce Perrien stepped to the plate and singled on a line drive to right field to drive home Eli Steadman for a walk-off 6-5 victory.
Chelsea was led by Peacock with a 2-for-3 game featuring an RBI, while Carter Frederick went 2-for-4. Adam Reaves also picked up two hits with an RBI.
Game 4: Chelsea 1, Houston (TN) 3
One of the only games where Chelsea’s bats failed to wake up came in a pitchers dual against Houston where the two teams combined for just nine hits.
Houston took a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the third, but that was the only run through the first five innings of the contest.
Chelsea then came back with a run to answer in the top of the sixth thanks to Forehand scoring on a wild pitch, but the Hornets also left two runners in scoring position to keep them from taking the lead.
That became costly when Houston answered back in the bottom of the sixth by scoring two more runs without picking up a hit to take a 3-1 advantage, which became the final score.
Horton got the start on the mound and allowed five hits and one run, while striking out five.
Game 5: Chelsea 10, Stanhope Elmore 0
Chelsea responded from the two difficult losses in a row with a dominant effort in its final game of the tournament against Stanhope Elmore.
The Hornets outhit Stanhope 12-1 and scored five runs in the opening inning and three in the bottom of the sixth to close out the game and bookend a strong outing. They also added one in the third and one in the fourth.
Ball went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, while Horton went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Forehand, Tinnell and Morgan also picked up one hit and one RBI apiece.
On the mound, Garrett Frey allowed just one hit and struck out six in a complete-game win.
Photos available at Shelbycountyphotos.com.