Hartselle clinches playoff berthPublished 11:52pm Friday, April 12, 2013
It wasn’t easy, but when Hartselle’s bats finally came to life, the Tigers took care of business.
Hartselle used a 3-for-3 performance by Zane Hamlett and a solid pitching performance from South Carolina signee Jackson Smith to defeat East Limestone 12-2, clinching a playoff berth.
The Tigers will now travel in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs to the winner of Area 16.
Hamlett said the team may have lost focus a little bit after winning so many big games.
“We now realize that every game could be our last,” Hamlett said. “So we have to step it up.”
After Hartselle gave up two runs in the first inning, Hamlett put the Tigers on the board at 2-1 in the second inning with an RBI single, scoring Colton Ord.
Brett Blackwood tied the game in the third inning on an RBI double. Ord, who went 4-for-4, gave Hartselle a 3-2 on an RBI single. Blake Slayton, Chris Brown’s runner, and Aaron Lamb then scored on aggressive base running, which caused a couple of throwing errors by East Limestone.
The final run scored of the five-run third inning scored on a four-pitch walk drawn by Easton Chenault.
From there, Smith shut down East Limestone, finishing with seven strikeouts in five innings.
Hamlett hit an RBI double and Deacon Aldridge was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score two more in the fourth inning.
Tanner Oakes, Tyler Phillips and Aldridge had RBI singles and Hamlett drew a bases-loaded walk, ending the game in the fifth inning.