Four-run second inning powers Helena over Hoover

Published 4:33 pm Friday, February 23, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HELENA – The Helena Huskies are flying high after earning a big win over the Hoover Buccaneers after they shut out the Bucs 4-0 on Thursday, Feb. 22 at Helena High School.

The Huskies rode a big four-run second inning to secure their second straight win over a Class 7A opponent after defeating Spain Park 6-2 in the PBR Classic last weekend.

Helena got an early scare in the top of the first after the Bucs hit a one-out double to get an early runner into scoring position. Logan Barber earned a three-pitch strikeout to secure the second out of the inning, but Hoover turned that pressure back onto the Huskies.

A single and a hit by pitch left the bases loaded for the Bucs, but Helena secured a fly out to get out of the jam unscathed.

The top of the second inning went much quicker for the Huskies as they earned a one-two-three inning, which gave them momentum going into the bottom half of the frame.

After Reece Mims drew a leadoff walk, Ty Stricklin reached base on an error by the Hoover pitcher. On the next pitch, Davis Kelley hit a single to load up the bases on the first three batters.

With three outs still to play with, Caleb Higgins hit a sacrifice fly to right field that brought Mims home to give Helena the lead.

Jarret Scott then walked to load up the bases once again, and on the next at bat, John Martin Williamson grounded into a fielder’s choice that brought Stricklin home for the second run.

Two pitches later, the Bucs threw a wild pitch that allowed Kelly to cross home plate and make the lead 3-0.

Hoover changed out its pitcher in hopes of getting out of the inning without allowing any more damage, but Nicholas Peters quickly hit a single to bring Williamson home.

Peters got out while advancing on the base paths to end the inning, but the damage was done and the Huskies led 4-0.

From there, Helena’s pitching staff settled in and earned 10 more strikeouts in the remainder of the game, including in a big spot in the top of the seventh.

The Bucs hit a pair of singles to have two runners on with two outs, but the Huskies earned the final strikeout to earn the save and the 4-0 win.

Trey Lampman earned the win after a dominant 5.1 innings of relief. He didn’t allow any runs or walks and surrendered just two hits while securing nine strikeouts.

Helena will have a quick turnaround and face Chelsea on the road on Friday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m. before facing Hoover and Sparkman on Saturday, Feb. 24.