Chelsea takes pair of wins at PBR Classic against Helena, Etowah

Published 10:25 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

The Chelsea Hornets started the season with a 2-1 weekend at the PBR Classic as they defeated the Helena Huskies and Etowah Blue Devils before falling to the Gardendale Rockets in the final game of the weekend.

The Hornets got off to a solid start with a 6-1 win against Helena in the county battle at Hoover High School on Friday, Feb. 16.

After the first two innings came and went without a run, Chelsea got two offense going with two outs in the bottom of the third.

The Hornets drew back-to-back walks to put two runners on base and set up Paxton Stallings to score a two-run double to take a 2-0 lead.

Chelsea added to that lead in the bottom of the fourth, recovering from an opening pop out to hit four singles in the next five batters.

The third hit led to a run as Aiden Craven hit a ground ball single to right field to score Chase Lackey and extend the lead.

Aiden Hughes then took the lead to 4-0 with a sharp ground ball back to the pitcher followed by an RBI sacrifice fly from Caden Mims. Stallings then earned his third RBI of the night off a single to put the Hornets up 6-0 at the end of the fourth inning.

While Chelsea surrendered four walks in five batters in the top of the fifth to let Helena get on the scoreboard, it wouldn’t allow any more runs from there to take the five-run win.

Logan Moller earned the win with four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts against one hit and three walks. Lackey came in to record the save with four strikeouts in 2.2 innings while allowing two hits and a walk.

The next day, the Hornets followed that up with another dominant win, this time over Etowah in an 8-2 victory at Gardendale High School.

Chelsea found itself in an early hole in the bottom of the first inning after the Blue Devils hit a two-run single with two outs to go up 2-0.

The Hornets answered in the top of the third after a leadoff single by Jackson Price led to a Craven RBI triple to get his team on the board.

Hughes then tied up the game at 2-2 on a single to short that scored Craven.

The score held until the top of the fifth when Mims drew a leadoff walk and came home from first off an RBI double by Stallings to give Chelsea the 3-2 lead.

Just two pitches later, Brett Hackett doubled to make it a two-run lead with two innings left.

The lead only grew from there after Ethan Pritchett hit a two-run double with one out to make the lead 6-2.

An RBI sacrifice by Breazeale and an RBI single from Lackey on the next two at-bats plated the seventh and eighth runs of the day to close the scoring and earn the six-run win.

Stallings earned the win behind five innings with five strikeouts, two hits, two walks and two earned runs. Mims took home the save with two strikeouts in two innings of work against a hit and a walk.

Chelsea was unable to complete the perfect weekend after a nine-run first inning by Gardendale turned into a 14-4 loss in five innings, and the Hornets will aim to bounce back in their home opener against Pell City on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m.