Huskies knock off Grissom, Hartselle on Opening Day
By Erik Harris
For The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — After all the long, grueling practices under the order of second-year head coach Jeff Mauldin, Hewitt-Trussville finally suited up to play someone in a different color uniform Monday.
Mauldin didn’t give his team the courtesy of a nice tune-up game. Instead, he fielded his team against two of the toughest programs in northern Alabama. Hewitt-Trussville defeated Grissom 1-0 and defending Class 5A state champion Hartselle 10-1 in the Birmingham-Huntsville Challenge.
Hewitt-Trussville eliminated Grissom in last year’s state playoffs.
“We knew they would come in here and play very good and probably come in with something to prove,” Mauldin said.
Senior pitcher Blake Bailey went 5 2/3 innings for the Huskies with six walks and four strikeouts. The righty was rarely threatened as Grissom only put two runners in scoring position.
“I thought Blake did a great job of competing,” Mauldin said. “He didn’t have his best stuff, but he really competed for our team.”
Carter Pharis’ RBI groundout that plated Peyton Palmer in the second inning was all Hewitt-Trussville needed. Michael Busby struck out three in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
The only thing that stopped the second game from getting uglier was a persistent fog that consumed the outfield and led the umpires to call the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, finalizing Hewitt-Trussville’s 10-1 victory over Hartselle.
“We think we’re going to be good offensively,” Mauldin said. “We can bunt, we can run the bases, we have some very good athletes and we can swing the bats. I think we showed our potential.”
Senior pitcher Alec Talley earned the win, striking out six Hartselle batters in 4 1/3 innings. He allowed just one hit and walked six. Senior DeMarcus Kelly and junior shortstop Carter Pharis each drove in two runs. Senior Riley Stokes had three hits and scored two runs.
Mauldin was proud of his team’s effort, but reminded them that, “When you wake up tomorrow, it’s over.”