By Kyle Parmley
TRUSSVILLE – Ethan Defnall was out in the bullpen, catching the next potential relief pitcher with the game in extra innings, when he was called back to the dugout.
“I was a little bit nervous, but I had to get ready for whatever was coming,” he said.
Head coach Jeff Mauldin called on his backup catcher to pinch hit with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, the game tied at 4. Defnall smacked a hit to right to bring home the winning run, as the Huskies knocked off Moody 5-4 on Tuesday night at Phil English Field.
“I saw a fastball coming, and I just loaded up and hit into right field,” Defnall said.
Defnall’s hit was the only one of the frame for Hewitt-Trussville. Cyle Moore was hit by a pitch to lead things off, followed by a Quin Jackson walk. Jamison Stennis laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners and Dylan McCormick was intentionally walked to set the stage for the game-winning knock.
Hewitt-Trussville (3-0) scored single runs in five of the eight innings. Jackson scored Tyler Tolbert on a run-scoring single in the first to open up the scoring. Tolbert only registered one official at-bat on the game, walking in his first four plate appearances and scoring a pair of runs.
The Huskies scored another run in the second, but lost a chance for more. Grayson Cash hit a ball into the gap, scoring a run but Ed Johnson tripped rounding third base and had to hang tight. Cash finished the game 2-for-5, adding another single in the seventh. Johnson made amends with an RBI single of his own in the bottom of the fifth.
Moody tied the ballgame at 2 with a pair of runs in the top of the third, by way of a throwing error from Hewitt-Trussville starting pitcher Carson Skipper. The freshman rebounded nicely and pitched a solid game, going six innings and allowing four runs. He scattered nine hits and struck out six.
The Blue Devils strung together four hits in the sixth inning to tack on two more runs. Huskies sophomore Cameron Moore came on in the seventh inning to stem the tide and struck out the side. Austin Brewster pitched the final inning and picked up the win for the Huskies, retiring the side easily after a leadoff walk.