Helena claims 2023 area championship with win over Chilton County

Published 11:41 am Tuesday, April 11, 2023

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

HELENA – A big night from Colton Willmon on the mound and a balanced attack at the plate earned the Helena Huskies an area championship on Monday, April 10 with a win against Chilton County.

After a thrilling sweep of Calera a week earlier to earn a playoff spot, the Huskies built off of their walk-off win against the Eagles a few days earlier by picking up a 6-1 victory over the Tigers with six different players tallying an RBI and Willmon putting together a complete-game effort on the mound.

Willmon got the start and allowed just one run on four hits and two walks in seven innings of action, finishing with five strikeouts to pick up the area-championship clinching win.

That lone run he gave up came in the top of the first, as Chilton County jumped out to a 1-0 lead with an RBI single, but the Tigers ultimately left two on base in the inning, while Willmon put together a shutout effort from there.

Helena also answered back quickly with an RBI single of its own off the bat of Reece Mims in the bottom half of the opening inning.

That evened the score, and an inning later, the Huskies took the lead for good on a sac fly from Jarret Scott, making it 2-1 through two innings of action.

The big inning, however, came in the third.

Up by one, Helena’s first four batters reached base safely in the third inning.

A lead-off single from Braydon Kendrick was followed by an RBI double from Mason Johnson to make it 3-1. Then, back-to-back errors loaded the bases, which led to a sac fly from Hayden Berry to extend the lead to three runs.

Another single from Ryan Rosener loaded the bases once again with one out, while Ty Stricklin followed with a grounder that ended with another run scoring on a fielder’s choice.

A walk to Scott once again loaded the bases, while a second walk in a row to Cam Nunley brought home the fourth run if the inning and the final run of the game, making it 6-1 through three.

From there, the final four innings came and went with neither team crossing the plate again, as Willmon protected his team’s lead to bring home the area title.

Kendrick and Rosener both had two hits in the win, while Johnson, Mims, Berry and Stricklin all had one hit and one RBI. Scott finished with one RBI and two walks, while Nunley finished with one RBI and one walk.