Chelsea edges out Briarwood by one run

By SETH HAGAN | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – The Chelsea Hornets absorbed a big first inning from the Briarwood Christian Lions and pitched a shutout the rest of the way for a 4-3 comeback win on Monday, March 9.

Reid Gongwer allowed just three hits in his final four innings, keeping his team in it long enough to earn the win.

Cal Higdon led the way in Briarwood’s big start. The Lions loaded the bases after Eli Steadman reached on a lead-off error and Wes Helms singled. Two walks from Gongwer sent Steadman home, then Higdon made the Hornets pay with a two-out single that sent two more runners home for a 3-0 lead.

Chelsea (10-3) put in a little two-out work as well in the bottom of the first as Jacob Boyle was sent home by Jackson Webster’s double to clip the deficit to 3-1.

Another two-out double in the second inning scored another run for the Hornets, as Hunter Anderson doubled to center to score Austin Frye, who sprinted home after stealing second base following his walk.

Gongwer was dominant on the mound once he got his legs under him striking out six in his last three innings of work. He finished with seven strikeouts allowing three runs on three hits and three walks.

The Hornets finally took control in the fourth inning, as they advanced late lineup runners to first and second with one out. Lead-off batter Carter Fredrick finished the job sending a shot to center field that scored Frye and Anderson for the winning runs.

Anderson was impressive in relief as well, allowing one hit and one walk in the final two innings to secure the win. He finished the game with two hits, a walk, a run and an RBI. Fredrick and Webster also had two hits each and three RBIs combined.

Wesley Helms and Cal Higdon led the way for Briarwood with two hits each and Higdon collecting two RBIs. Hundon Arnold took the loss on the mound for Briarwood going four innings allowing five hits, four runs and four walks, while striking out three.

The Hornets will welcome Pell City Thursday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. and have a two-game series Friday versus Hillcrest. Briarwood (7-3) will look to bounce back against Oak Mountain Tuesday, March 10 at 4:30 p.m.