Hewitt-Trussville drops home matchup against Gardendale
By Gary Lloyd
It took just 63 pitches for Gardendale pitcher Carter Burns to mow down the Hewitt-Trussville lineup Tuesday at Phil English Field.
The No. 5 Huskies struggled a little defensively, Gardendale played a solid game and the Rockets defeated Hewitt-Trussville 7-2 in an important Class 6A, Area 12 matchup.
“Yes, we’re disappointed, but they just outplayed us,” said Hewitt-Trussville head coach Jeff Mauldin. “They outplayed us defensively, they pitched better than us, they hit better than we did. In all phases of the game, they outplayed us.”
Burns allowed just four hits and two earned runs while striking out three Hewitt-Trussville batters in a complete-game win.
“We knew that he was a strike-throwing machine,” Mauldin said. “He can throw three pitches for strikes.”
For Hewitt-Trussville (19-8, 4-1) junior Riley Stokes was 1-for-2 with a double, stolen base and two runs scored. The Huskies got singles from seniors Dakota Harwell, Jasen White and Brent Robson.
Senior pitcher Grayson Jones took the loss for Hewitt-Trussville, allowing two earned runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out seven batters but threw 113 pitches.
Gardendale (16-8, 2-0) scored the first run of the game in the second inning when John Michael Mathews’ groundout scored Joseph Calvert. Hewitt-Trussville tied the game in the bottom of the second when senior Connor Cox’s groundout scored Stokes.
Gardendale plated three runs in the third, two on an error at first base and one on a wild pitch. A fifth-inning error allowed a Gardendale runner to score and Chris Blakey’s two-run single in the top of the sixth inning gave Gardendale a 7-1 advantage.
“We didn’t play our typical, solid defense,” Mauldin said. “We’ve just got to get better.”
Hewitt-Trussville got its second run of the game in the bottom of the seventh when a Harwell sacrifice scored Stokes.
Mauldin said the team “did not respond very well” to adversity in the game and will have to play better Friday, when Hewitt-Trussville travels to Gardendale for a doubleheader that starts at 4:30 p.m. Both teams will likely make the Class 6A state playoffs, and the area winner will host the first round of the state playoffs April 19-20. The team that finishes second in the area will play on the road in the first round.
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.