Hartselle beats Spanish Fort in Game 1Published 6:23pm Friday, May 17, 2013
MONTGOMERY – Hartselle used a 2-for-3, 3 RBI performance from Tyler Phillips and complete game from Jackson Smith to defeat Spanish Fort in Game 1 of the Class 5A Championship Series at Paterson Field.
Phillips got a hit down the first base line to score two runs, capping a five-run, third inning. He also added an insurance run by smashing a home run to left field in the fifth inning.
“We face that same guy earlier in the year, and he threw me a lot of curveballs,” Phillips said. “I happened to put one right down the middle. I waited back and kept my hands on the inside. And it just went.”
On the two-run single, Phillips said he it was luck.
“I thought I swung way late, thought I was way behind it,” Phillips said. “I happened to hit it and God put it in the right spot.”
Smith did his part on the mount. He scattered six hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Both of the runs he allowed were unearned. Smith said he relied a lot on the fastball while mixing in the change-up and two-seamer.
“What I had to do to be successful was throw strikes and get ahead in the count and put pressure on them,” Smith said. “Good things will happen when you do that.
“I feel like my job is to get three outs as fast as I can.”
Hartselle got on the board in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run by Brett Blackwood, his 18th of the season. Deacon Aldridge set it up with a leadoff single.
Aldridge nearly added to the lead in the second inning, hitting a ball to shallow right field. Tyler Trammell, however, made a diving catch to end the threat.
In the third inning, Toro starting pitcher Ethan Walker walked the first two batters, setting up Chris Brown to drive in the third Hartselle run.
Colton Ord walked with the bases loaded, allowing Blackwood to score the fourth run. Zane Hamlett reached on an error to score Tanner Oakes, Brown’s runner.
That set up Tyler Phillips’ big hit to give the Tigers an insurmountable 7-0 lead.
After the big inning, the Tigers had a slight letdown on the defensive end. They committed three errors in the stanza allowing Spanish Fort to get on the board with two runs.
Head coach William Booth said he wasn’t too concerned about the game.
“In a fast moving game like this, errors are going to happen,” Booth said.
The Tigers settled down and closed out the game from there. Hamlett ended the fifth inning by turning a double play at second base.
Smith then allowed just one more base hit the rest of the way, as Hartselle cruised to the win.
Games 2 and 3 will be played tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium.
Phillips said tomorrow’s games won’t be anything his team hasn’t experience before.
“Jackson’s pitched in a couple of national championships,” Phillips said. “Brett’s played in some big tournaments. We’ve played in the football state championship. We’ll be ready.”
Blackwood said it’s going to a little harder tomorrow.
“It’s going to be harder for me because I’m going to be expecting fastballs,” Blackwood said. “He’s got a great changeup. He’s one of the best, if not the best, that we’ve faced all year.”
Booth said getting the win maybe changes up his pitching options for Game 2.
“It changes our pitching situation a little bit,” Booth said. “We don’t know who’s going to pitch, but we’ve got some guys that can pitch.”