By Kyle Parmley
BIRMINGHAM — The season comes down to one game.
After splitting the first two games of a Class 7A second round playoff series with Oak Mountain, Hewitt-Trussville will find itself in the same position on Saturday as it did when Friday began.
“We were even when we started today,” head coach Jeff Mauldin said following the Friday doubleheader. “We’re even when we start tomorrow.”
The Huskies won the first game, 6-5, on an Ed Johnson two-run double in the sixth inning to put his team on top for good. Johnson had three RBIs in the contest, as his infield single plated a run in the fourth to break what was, at the time, a tie game.
Oak Mountain struck first with a run in the opening inning, but Josh Morgan beat out a potential double play ball and Grayson Cash knocked in a run with a single to put the Huskies ahead, 2-1, in the second.
Carson Skipper got the start on the mound and went 5.2 innings, yielding to Cameron Moore in the sixth inning for the save. Skipper notched the win, along with driving in a run with a sacrifice fly.
The second game was a different story, and not entirely the fault of the Huskies. Three first-inning runs were more than Joseph Hartsfield needed, and the Eagles won the contest, 6-0. Hartsfield was just that good.
Hartsfield mowed down Hewitt-Trussville in the first four innings, facing the minimum and striking out eight consecutive hitters during that span. He faced two over the minimum for the game, allowing just a pair of hits and walk to go along with 12 total punch outs.
“He was dynamite,” Mauldin said. “He was electric and he pitched with confidence, and you can tell he put his team on his back.”
Human nature allows the result of the most recent game to take the majority of the focus, but Mauldin reminded his team that each team won a game on the day.
“What we want them to do is think about tonight, Games 1 and 2. They ended on a loss, but we still won Game 1. There’s not all negatives. I wanted them to think about the game, but when we wake up tomorrow, it’s over,” he said.
The penultimate game of the series takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, at Oak Mountain High School. The teams will flip a coin to determine the “home” team for the game.