Chelsea snaps losing skid with three straight wins over Calera, Prattville

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

The Chelsea Hornets are back on track after flipping a three-game losing streak into a three-game win streak, earning a pair of wins over the Prattville Lions on Saturday, Feb. 24 and defeating their county foe the Calera Eagles at home on Monday, Feb. 26.

The Hornets capped off the three-day stretch with an 11-6 win over Calera behind four runs in the sixth inning.

The Eagles struck first in the top of the first after a wild pitch scored one of the baserunners caused by three walks in the inning.

However, the Hornets quickly got their own chance to capitalize on free baserunners after Calera issued five straight walks, which led to two runs. A fly out then allowed Paxton Stallings to give Chelsea a 3-1 lead.

Chelsea then had another pair of runners reach scoring position with a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the second, and both came home on a two-run double from Aiden Hughes.

The Hornets held onto that 5-1 lead until the top of the fifth when a wild pitch and an RBI single in the same at bat allowed Calera to cut the deficit to two.

Two batters later, Antorious Johnson drove another run in with an RBI single and an error let the game-tying run cross home plate for the Eagles.

Chelsea responded in the bottom of the fifth to break the deadlock. Hughes hit a leadoff double to get into scoring position for Stallings, who broke the tie with an RBI single.

The Hornets didn’t look back from there as they tacked on another run in the frame with an RBI single by Miller Bauman. That momentum carried over into the sixth inning when Chase Lackey hit an RBI single after a pair of stolen bases by Jackson Price.

Chelsea then capitalized on an error during a Stallings fielder’s choice to score three more runs and go up 11-5.

While Dalton Ash hit an RBI single in the top of the seventh to claw a run back, the Hornets secured the final two outs to earn the 11-6 win.

Before that, Chelsea swept a doubleheader with Prattville on the road. The Hornets started that off with a 3-1 win over the Lions.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the third when Lackey overcame a two-out hole to hit an RBI single and take a 1-0 lead.

That score line held until the top of the sixth when Chelsea tacked on two more runs off a Prattville error to increase the lead to 3-0.

With the Lions down to their last chance in the bottom of the seventh, they scored their first run of the game on a two-out RBI double, but Stallings took the mound and finished the job to earn the save and secure the 3-1 victory.

Logan Moller was key in the win as he took 10 strikeouts in six innings of shutout baseball. He earned the win by keeping Prattville to just three hits and a walk.

Chelsea needed that momentum in the back half of the doubleheader as it came from behind twice to earn the 7-3 win.

The Lions struck first thanks to a run scoring on an error and a second coming home during a fly out.

The Hornets quickly took advantage of an error, a walk and a passed ball in the top of the second to tie up the game at 2-2 off a two-run single by Mack Breazeale.

However, Prattville retook the lead on a two-out RBI single to go up 3-2 in the bottom of the third inning.

Chelsea tied up the contest once again with one out in the top of the fifth after Aiden Craven hit an RBI single.

The game remained tied at 3-3 until the top of the seventh, when a Bauman double and a Jackson Price walk led to a pair of errors on the ensuing at bat, which let the Hornets take a 5-3 lead.

Chelsea then tacked on a pair of runs on its final two at bats of the game on a Stallings groundout and a run on a wild pitch to cap off the 7-3 win.

Lackey earned the win with two shutout innings of relief, racking up three strikeouts against one hit. Stallings also earned six strikeouts in five innings.

The Hornets will return to action in the Perfect Game High School Showdown on Thursday, Feb. 29 against Wesleyan Christian at 11 a.m. at the Hoover Met.