by Phil Gibson
It didn’t look like Hewitt-Trussville would even make it to a third game after they lost Game 1 of their semi-final match-up with perennial powerhouse Hoover. Less than 24 hours later, the Huskies are heading to the finals.
With a little luck and a gutsy four inning relief effort from pitcher Michael Busby, the Huskies managed a comeback from three down in Game 2 to win by a final score of 5-3. In Game 3, Hewitt got off to a quick three run lead themselves in the first inning. In the fifth inning, however, it looked like Hoover might stage a comeback of their own. The Bucs scored one run and loaded the bases with no outs.
Enter Busby, who fans have taken to calling “Sidewinder” due to his sidearm delivery style. He managed to retire the next three batters in order and finished the rest of the game without giving up a single run
. It was the second time in two games Busby was put into a high pressure situation, and for the second time, he delivered. He was, without a doubt, the difference maker for the Huskies this weekend.
“I know they trust me,” Busby said. “[Coach] told us that when he puts us in game, period, that he trusts us to get it done. I just go out there and pitch.”
In seven innings of relief during the semi-finals, Busby had six strikeouts with no walks, and gave up zero runs on four hits.
The Huskies were one strike away from elimination the night before when Dakota Harwell singled to left to keep his team alive. It’s fitting that he fielded the last two outs on a double play to finish Game 3.
“Last night, I just knew that our team had fight in them,” Harwell said. “It wasn’t just me in the situation, I could trust anybody in our lineup to get it done.”
Harwell summed up the Huskies’ identity with that word – Fight.
“Seriously, ‘fight’ defines our team,” Harwell said. “This is the second weekend in a row where we lost the first one and came back to win the next two. Coming off this game, we’re very confident. I feel very good about next week.”
The Huskies will travel to Montgomery to face Pelham in the finals. Coach Jeff Mauldin had a message for the fans about next week.
“No doubt, the fans made the difference,” Maudlin said. “To all the students here, the teams loves playing in front of y’all. Bring it to Montgomery next weekend.”