MONTGOMERY – Hazel Green scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning fought off a late Helena rally to win 4-3 in the first game of the AHSAA 2018 Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series Thursday night at Paterson Field.
The Trojans (31-12) and Huskies (26-15) will play game 2 in the best 2-of-3 series at Riverwalk Stadium Friday at 4 p.m. Game three, if needed, will follow.
Helena took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when John Stephen Heacock doubled and scored on Landon Green’s double.
The Trojans answered in a big way in the bottom of the inning, using two timely hits, a fielder’s choice and a throwing error to score all four runs. Austin Tatum’s bases-loaded single started the second inning rally for Coach Frankie Perez’s Trojans. Bradley Hulin’s single plated the fourth run and Hazel Green led 4-1.
Helena hurler Richard Fitts shut down the Trojans the rest of the way, allowing just two more hits and finishing with 13 strikeouts in six innings. Isaiah Magwood pitched 4 1/3 innings for Hazel Green, leaving in the fifth after the Huskies plated two more runs when Luke Stamba singled, moved to third on a single by Trevor Bell and scored on an infield error. Bell later scored on a balk before reliever Nathan Giles came in and pitched Hazel Green out of the jam.
Magwood allowed four hits, walked one and struck out three in a solid performance. Giles allowed one hit in one inning of work and Hunter McGriff pitched the final 1 2/3 innings striking out two to get the save.
Heacock and Stamba each had two hits for Coach P.J. Guy’s Huskies. Hulin and Tatum each had a hit and RBI for Hazel Green.
The Class 7A championship series opens Friday at 6 p.m. at Paterson Field with Hewitt-Trussville (32-9) facing Auburn (35-7). The 7A series close the AHSAA Championships Saturday at Riverwalk Stadium with game two at 10 a.m.
All championship series games are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network. The AHSAA Softball Championships is underway at Lagoon Park today through Saturday.