Hartselle advances to semifinalsPublished 7:28pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Jackson Smith pitched a three-hit shutout with four strikeouts in Hartselle’s 2-0 win over Homewood Tuesday, sending the Tigers to the Class 5A semifinals.
Hartselle will now host Pinson Valley, who defeated Southside-Gadsden 2-1 in the quarterfinals. The first game will be played at 5 p.m. Friday.
Smith said they were ready to get back on the field after the rain-shortened 7-4 loss Friday night and then having to deal with rainouts on Saturday and Monday.
“We were disappointed with how it ended,” Smith said. “We were anxious to play the third game today.”
Smith got both wins in the series. On Tuesday, he struck out four batters and allowed three hits with no walks.
Hartselle head coach William Booth commended his ace pitcher for his performance against a disciplined Homewood batting order.
“I mean they weren’t swinging at any trash,” Booth said.”They swung at strikes all night long. That meant he had to put it out over the plate. It was very important that he kept his composure. He didn’t walk anybody, isn’t that right? It was a very, very good performance.”
Behind Smith, the defense was good as well, committing no errors and turning a key double play to erase a one-out single by Homewood’s Jack Smalley in the fifth inning.
Then, Hartselle wasn’t able to get much out of the combination of Homewood pitchers Adam Stewart and Brian Browning, but the Tigers were able to manufacture runs in third and fifth innings.
“We didn’t hit the ball well, but we came up with some clutch hits,” Booth said.
In the third inning, Deacon Aldridge reached on a fielding error by the pitcher. He went to second on Easton Chenault’s single. Brett Blackwood brought him home with an RBI single to left field.
After Chenault and Aaron Lamb were hit by a pitch in the fifth inning, Colton Ord loaded the bases with a bunt single.
Blake Slayton then provided some insurance. He beat the throw at first base on an infield ground ball with the bases loaded. That allowed Chenault to score.
Chenault and Ord led the way for Hartselle, each going 2-for-3 on the night.