No. 5 Hewitt-Trussville advances past Vestavia Hills
By Gary Lloyd
TRUSSVILLE — Hewitt-Trussville is moving on.
The No. 5 Huskies defeated Vestavia Hills 7-2 at Phil English Field on Monday night to advance to the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs. Hewitt-Trussville will play at Mountain Brook on Friday in a doubleheader at 5 p.m. A third game, if necessary, is at noon Saturday.
On Monday, junior catcher Cyle Moore was the star offensively. He was 3-for-4 with four RBIs. He hit a two-run single in the second inning to put the Huskies up 3-0 and he helped push the lead to 6-2 in the sixth inning with another two-run single up the middle.
“The guy is a warrior for us,” second-year head coach Jeff Mauldin said.
Senior Reid Gunter got the win, his sixth win out of seven appearances this season. Gunter pitched 4 2/3, allowing four hits and one earned run. He walked six and struck out two.
“That’s an example of a senior leader grasping the moment,” Mauldin said.
Freshman Cameron Moore, who before this series hadn’t pitched since spring break due to a back injury, threw 2 1/3, allowing one hit and no runs. He walked five and struck out two batters.
Hewitt-Trussville had lost Game 1 of the series 12-11. The team didn’t flinch, bouncing back Saturday with a 14-9 win.
“Vestavia gave us an unbelievable battle,” Mauldin said.
The battle helps Hewitt-Trussville (30-8), Cyle Moore said.
“I think it helps us as a team going forward in the playoffs because when we get to situations like this we’ll have experience and we’ll be able to push through it,” he said.
Vestavia Hills finishes the season with a 26-17 record. Brendan Gorman worked 1 2/3 innings for the Rebels as the starter. He didn’t allow a hit, but he did give up three runs on six walks. Tyler Queen took over and finished the game, working 4 1/3 innings. He allowed two hits and four runs. He walked five Huskies and struck out three.
For Hewitt-Trussville, junior shortstop Carter Pharis walked four times and scored twice Monday. He walked nine times in the three-game series.
Mauldin said Hewitt-Trussville will be tough to beat if it swings the bats like it did against the Rebels.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is how blessed we are as coaches to coach these kids,” he said. “A lot of times when you make a move like we did, leaving Pelham and coming here, God’s got a plan and you don’t understand it until you’re in the middle of it. These kids are fighters. They’re winners.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.