Chelsea fends off Mountain Brook, starts area play 1-0

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor 

MOUNTAIN BROOK – The Chelsea Hornets moved above .500 on the season on Tuesday, March 30 in a big way with a two-run win against area foe Mountain Brook.

The Hornets broke open a pitcher’s duel with one run on the fourth, two in the sixth and one more in the seventh before fending off a comeback attempt in the seventh to hold on for a 4-2 win.

The victory led to Chelsea starting area play 1-0 and improving its record to 14-13 on the season.

With top pitchers Connor Ball and Brennan Holden on the mound, both teams found it tough to find success at the plate early in the game.

In the top of the fourth, however, Chelsea was able to get to Holden when Jackson Webster took advantage of a lead-off walk to Adam Reaves.

With two outs in the inning and Reaves now on third, Webster hit a roller toward third base that he legged out for a single, which allowed Reaves to come home for the game’s first run.

Ball on the other hand didn’t show any signs of slowing down on the mound for the Hornets.

He continued to keep the Spartans at bay by getting through the sixth inning without allowing a run.

That also allowed Chelsea’s offense to be patient at the plate.

In the top of the sixth, that paid off when Ball helped himself out. With two outs in the inning, he lined an RBI double to center field to bring home Reaves once again. Then, Evan Jones hit a hard ground ball that ended in an error by the third baseman and allowed Webster to cross the plate for a 3-0 lead.

Chelsea then added one more insurance run in the top of the seventh following a triple from Reaves. With him on third, Chris McNeill singled to left field to drive home Reaves, who scored three of Chelsea’s four runs in the win.

That put the Hornets in front 4-0 going to the bottom half of the final inning.

Mountain Brook attempted a comeback in the home half with a walk and single to lead off the inning. After a strikeout, the Spartans scored on an error and a ground out to cut the deficit to two runs.

Parker Szush, however, was able to get the final out of the game on a ground out as the Spartans left a runner on third and Chelsea picked up the 4-2 victory.

Ball allowed four hits and one earned run in his time on the mound while striking out eight and walking four. Szush came in to close the game and struck out one while allowing no hits.

Reaves finished the game 2-for-3 with three runs, while Kaleb Hester added two hits. McNeill, Webster and Ball each had one hit and one RBI.