Chelsea’s Szush wins pitching battle with Helena’s Rhodes

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CHELSEA – In a pitcher’s duel between Chelsea’s Parker Szush and Helena’s Mitchell Rhodes, there was no room for error when the two teams met on the field in a rivalry matchup on Tuesday, March 9.

In a game that saw one hit and one error from each team, one run was the difference in the game and it came in the first inning.

With two outs and a runner on first, Cole Kennedy stepped to the plate for the Hornets. In a 0-2 count, Adam Reaves, who walked two batters earlier, stole second to put a runner on second. Then, two mistakes became costly for the Hornets.

A balk by Rhodes on the mound sent Reaves to third. Then, what could have been the inning-ending third strike got by the catcher for a passed ball, which allowed Kennedy to reach base safely and more importantly for Reaves to cross the plate.

That series of events led to the game’s only run, as Chelsea went on to take down Helena in a 1-0 win that saw two pitchers match one another the rest of the way.

In the top of the first, the Huskies had their best chance to put runs on the board when a single and hit batter put two runners on with no outs.

But Brody Moss was caught stealing third during McGwire Turner’s at bat, which was then followed by a strikeout and a pop out to end the threat.

From there, Helena didn’t pick up another hit and never had more than one baserunner in any inning the rest of the way.

The reason for that was Szush, who capitalized on his team giving him an early 1-0 lead to work with. He went on to pitch a complete game, allowing no runs, two walks and one hit. He also struck out five batters and had three 1-2-2 innings.

Szush allowed just one baserunner over the final four innings of the game to preserve the win.

After that first inning, Rhodes settled in as well. He went all six innings on the mound for the Huskies and allowed just one hit and four walks with the run given up an unearned run. He also totaled six strikeouts in a spirited effort that gave his team a chance.

Reid Gongwer had Chelsea’s only hit in the game, while Reaves earned two walks in addition to one walk apiece from Jackson Webster and Evan Jones.

Moss had Helena’s only hit in the first inning, while Ryan Storey and Logan Green each earned walks.