Helena baseball wins three in a row, now 12-4

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, March 16, 2021

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

Following back-to-back losses for the first time this season, both by one run to Vestavia Hills and Chelsea, the Helena Huskies bounced back with three wins in a row between Thursday, March 11, and Friday, March 12.

The Huskies took down three top teams with a 5-2 win against Thompson, an 8-0 win against Gulf Shores and a 7-6 win against Fairhope to improve to 12-4 on the season.

In the first of the three against rival Thompson, Helena used a strong combined effort on the mound from Colton Willmon and Gavin Daniel to pick up the win.

The Huskies only needed five hits and a five-run third inning to give them all the cushion they needed.

Willmon got the start and pitched the first four innings allowing five hits, three walks and two runs. Both runs, however, were unearned, while he also struck out five batters.

The two runs he gave up were in the top of the first, but from there, he was flawless before Daniel came in and carried the momentum on for the Huskies.

Daniel finished off the final three innings with a perfect showing. He allowed no hits, no runs and no walks while striking out five batters for 10 combined strikeouts between the two pitchers.

At the plate, Helena scored all of its runs in the bottom of the third. It started after two walks and a single quickly loaded the bases with no outs.

An RBI single from Griff Minor put the Huskies on the board before a Ryan Storey ground out brought home the game-tying run. A pop out put two outs on the board, but the Huskies had a two-out rally ready to roll.

Jordan Pearson was a big reason why. He stepped in and laced a line drive to left field to bring home two runs and give Helena a 4-2 advantage. An error on a grounder from Noah Gwin then allowed Pearson to score for a 5-2 lead, which became the final score.

The Huskies were led by Pearson with a 1-for-1 performance featuring two RBIs and one run scored. Minor added a hit and one RBI, while Storey had the only other RBI. Tyler Jon Santos, Gwin and Landon Leake each added one hit as well.

One day later, the Huskies built off of that confident outing with a dominant showing against Gulf Shores.

They scored eight runs and picked up an 8-0 shutout victory thanks to multiple runs in the second, third and sixth innings, as well as a strong combined showing on the mound from Jacob Peters and Seth Gregory.

Peters was flawless sin the start thanks to nine strikeouts in six innings pitched. He gave up just three hits and two walks on 87 pitches. Gregory finished the game by allowing just one walk but no hits in the final inning.

At the plate, Storey led the way with a 3-for-4 showing featuring two RBIs and two runs scored. Santos also had multiple hits with two, while Pearson and Miles Mitchell each had one RBI. Brody Moss also had a strong game with a triple and two RBIs in the win.

Following that win, the Huskies got right back to work against Fairhope and the bats stayed alive early.

A bases-loaded walk to Logan Green brought home one run in the top of the first, while the Huskies added five more in the top of the third. A wild pitch and a sac bunt ended up allowing two runs to score, while a sac fly brought home one more before McGwire Turner drove home two more with a single.

From there, Helena was forced to stave off a comeback.

Fairhope went on to score three in the fifth and one in the sixth to make it a 6-4 game heading to the final inning.

The Huskies added an insurance run on an RBI single from Pearson, which became key in the final score.

Fairhope continued its rally in the bottom half of the final inning, but a big play at the plate made a difference.

After cutting the deficit to two runs, Fairhope hit a two-out line drive to Storey in center field. One run came home, but Storey fired the ball to catcher Brock Sisson, who was able to tag out the game-tying run to preserve the 7-6 victory.

Turner was the leader at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance featuring two RBIs. Connor Gibbs added two hits, while Green added two RBIs on two walks. Pearson and Moss each added one hit, while Moss had two walks as did Leake and Storey.