DCHS loses to Chilton County, 17-7

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Dallas County Hornets dropped their second game of the season on Monday night at Bloch Park to the Chilton County Tigers, 17-7.

But in doing so, they had to contend with a fired up Chilton County squad, an armload of errors and a rotating strikezone that moved in a direction opposite the ball.

This is the first time in three attempts that the Tigers were able to upend the Hornets.

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Trailing 5-0 going into the top of the fourth inning, the wheels came off the DCHS wagon.

“I always put a lot of pressure on myself, being from this area,” said Todd Reece, coach of the Tigers. “Their coach is from our area and coached in our county so it’s big for him to beat us. We’re hitting the ball better and scoring more run going into area play.”

The Chilton County Tigers pushed ahead 9-0 after four unearned runs, two coming after the Hornets had already recorded two outs.

Shane Moreland took the hill with bases loaded and sent Chilton County’s Brett Bice back to the dugout on a called strike three to end the inning.

“I was pleased with Moreland,” said Billy Jackson coach of the Hornets. “He pitched last year against Selma and this year against Jemison. Since I’ve been here two years, tonight made his third appearance pitching. I’m very, very pleased.”

While the CCHS offense capitalized on DCHS’s fielding mishaps and oddities, a liner bounced off the third-base corner of the second base bag and rolled into leftfield allowing the bases to clear, the Hornets were able to cut into the lead with old-fashioned hit and run baseball.

Moreland led off the inning with a double to rightcenter and then was scored on a single from Jacob Paxton. Cody Massey ripped a single to move the runners around and then scored on a throwing error by the Tigers’ catcher.

DCHS gave up one run in the top of the fifth and then added two more to their tally in the bottom half of the frame. Jonathan Hurt roped a double into the outfield and scored Massey, who had brought Paxton around with a double down the rightfield line.

Dallas County had moved to within striking distance after five frames, trailing 10-6, but the Tigers added another run to go up by five, 11-6 after five and a half innings.

DCHS answered that run in the bottom of the frame with a single that scored Andrew Harrison from first.

The Hornets trailed by a quartet, 11-7, going into the final frame.

“Playing Clanton is one of the better teams that we’ll play this year,” said Jackson.

In the top half of the seventh inning, Moreland faced 10 batters and gave up six runs, four of which were earned.

Dallas County forced Kyle Parrish to fly out to the centerfielder to retire the side and stop the bleeding.

DCHS sent three batters to the plate, looking for a rally and all three of them were returned to the dugout, courtesy of a pair of strikeouts and a fly out to center to end the game.

When the final out was made the Hornets were on the low end of the scoreboard, 17-7.

“When you get a lead you want to be able to hold a lead,” said Reece. “They are a good baseball team and aren’t going to quit. I kept stressing to my guys that if they let up they are going to get back in it. When times get tough we pull through.”

The Hornets will be back in Plantersville this afternoon against Greensboro to open region play. The one-game series is set to start at 3 p.m.

Wetumpka will travel to Clanton to face Chilton County over the weekend for a twinbill with the Tigers to open regional play.

In local AISA action, the Lowndes Academy Rebels (6-14) posted a pair of wins over Macon-East, 7-3 and Wilcox Academy 15-5. Against Macon-East, Adam Sawicki got the win with Drew Harrell going 2-4 and against the Wildcats, Kyle Miller got the win on the mound with T. J. Mills going 3-4 and Bradley Adams finishing 2-4.

The Morgan Academy Senators (13-3) improved to 3-0 in the region with a 9-1 victory over the Monroe Volunteers.

Zach Hughey got the win on the mound with a 10 strikeouts against four hits. Ben Callaway finished 3-4, along with Josh McAteer and Jeremy Smith.

McAteer and Smith also added a homer.