Three-run third lifts Chelsea past Pelham in county rivalry

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CHELSEA – A three-run third inning and four shutout innings of work on the mound from Logan Moller were key in helping the Chelsea Hornets take down rival Pelham on Monday, Feb. 27.

In what was a 1-0 game through the first two innings of play, the Hornets used a two-run home run and RBI single in the bottom of the third to help extend their lead to 4-0 through three innings, which became more than enough in a strong combined pitching effort from Moller, Steven Shelton and Reed Hartsfield.

Moller pitched the first four innings and allowed two hits and no runs or walks during his time on the mound, while he struck out six. Shelton came in for 1 2/3 innings and struck out three while allowing one hit and a walk with no runs.

Hartsfield did allow one run, but not until the top of the seventh and he was able to get out of the inning with a final strikeout to cement the 5-1 victory.

Chelsea was able to play with the lead from the first inning.

Following a 1-2-3 inning on the mound for Moller, the Hornets drew three straight walks to start the bottom half, eventually leading to Chris McNeill scoring on a wild pitch for a 1-0 advantage.

They did go on to leave the bases loaded with an inning-ending strikeout, but it didn’t take too long to add to the lead.

Following a quiet second inning and a 1-2-3 top of the third, Chelsea came back to the plate in the bottom of the third ready to create separation.

The Hornets got a lead-off single from Walker Thomas, which was followed by a two-run bomb from Jackson Morgan on the first pitch he saw.

Now up 3-0, back-to-back outs made it look like that would be all of the damage in the inning. That, however, changed with a single from Aiden Hughes and a walk from McNeill to put two on board.

Cody Fortenberry then stepped to the plate and lined the first pitch he saw to center field to score Hughes for a 4-0 advantage.

The next several innings came and went with little action, but in the top of the sixth, Thomas was able to add an insurance run on a line drive to left field following a Kaleb Hester double.

Chelsea led 5-0 at that point, but Pelham threatened in the top of the seventh in the team’s final chance at the plate. Clayton Mains singled home one run to make it 5-1, while a walk followed to load the bases.

With two outs, however, Hartsfield was able to get the final punch out of the game to cement the 5-1 victory.

Thomas finished 2-4 at the plate with an RBI, while Morgan had one hit and two RBIs with two walks as well. Fortenberry added one hit and one RBI.

Pelham was led by Isaiah Byrd with two hits, while Mains finished with a hit and RBI.