Helena notches three wins at Hoover tournament

Published 2:35 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HOOVER – The Helena Huskies were one of the busiest local teams during spring break, playing five games and picking up three wins at the challenging Hoover spring break tournament March 29 through April 1.

The Huskies opened with wins against Briarwood and Houston County on Wednesday and Thursday before falling 4-3 to Oak Lawn to open up Friday’s play. Helena, however, bounced back with one more win in a strong victory against Auburn before one final loss of 12-2 on Saturday, April 1 to finish the tournament 3-2.

In the win against Briarwood, Helena fell behind 1-0 in the top of the second, but the Huskies responded with two runs in the bottom of the third to take a one-run lead. That was all of the scoring until the sixth inning, but Helena was finally able to tack on two insurance runs in the bottom half to complete what became a 4-1 win.

Colton Willmon’s performance on the mound was the highlight, picking up a complete-game win after allowing one run on six hits and four walks with six strikeouts.

At the plate, Jarret Scott led the way with two hits and one RBI, while Hayden Berry finished with one hit and one RBI. Mason Johnson added an RBI, while Braydon Kendrick and Ryan Rosener each finished with a hit.

That win was followed a day later by a 10-0 shutout against Houston County thanks to another dominant pitching effort. This time, it was Berry, who picked up a complete-game shutout. He allowed six hits and three walks but no runs with six strikeouts.

Helena held a 3-0 lead through two innings, which was plenty of cushion for Berry, but late in the game, the Huskies added one in the sixth and six in the seventh to close out the victory.

Scott had another big game with four hits, including a triple, and two RBIs. Cam Nunley and Kendrick added two RBIs as well on one hit each, while Reece Mims finished with two hits and an RBI.

Bennett Plowden added one hit and one RBI, while Willmon, Ty Stricklin and Caleb Higgins each finished with a hit.

The Huskies were able to pick up one more win in the tournament and it came with a 16-run outburst against Auburn.

Helena fell behind 4-2 through the top of the third, but the Huskies responded with five runs in the bottom of the third to take the lead.

After the Tigers responded with three in the top of the fourth to regain the lead, Helena put together a seven-run home half that ultimately made the difference in a 16-8 victory.

Mims was the leader at the plate this time with four RBIs on two hits, while Berry also added four RBIs on one hit. Nunley finished with two RBIs on one hit, while Scott and John Martin Williamson each added one hit and one RBI. Johnson finished with two hits and Rosener added one.

On the mound, Carson Acker got the start and struck out four while giving up seven runs on nine hits in four innings of work. Jake Crooks followed and finished off the final three innings by allowing one run on two hits.