Prattville edges Hartselle
Tigers fall in first game of Hoover Tournament
Nick Johnston, Hartselle Enquirer
Editor's note: Due to an early editorial deadline, Hartselle's Tuesday game against Arab will not be published.
HOOVER – Monday's game could be described as a pitcher's duel, or a batting struggle.
Whatever the case, the Hartselle Tigers fell 3-2 to Prattville on opening day of the Hoover Tournament.
Hartselle's Joey Watson and Prattville's Evan Crawford kept both teams in check until late in the game.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Watson appeared to be under control. However, a pick-off throw following a pitch was not, as Lee Wallace advanced to second. Just one pitch later, Kyle Bellflower singled, scoring Wallace from second to give Prattville a 1-0 lead.
Hartselle could not respond in the fifth despite advancing a runner to third base before a flyout, but Zac Ward made sure the Tigers would respond in the top of the sixth.
With two outs, Ward smashed a home run over the left-centerfield wall, tying the game at 1-all.
Prattville regained the lead in the bottom of the frame.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Justin Crawford singled, scoring Matt Hunter. One pitch later, Watson forced a fly out to get out of the inning.
In the seventh, with Hartselle needing a run to continue the game, a sophomore came through.
With one out and Ja'Cote Ward, pinch running for Hodge Patterson, at second, sophomore Chris Wiley lined a single into left field. Ja'Cote Ward crossed the plate to tie the contest at 2-all.
Hartselle still had just one out with runners on second and third, but could not get a runner home.
Heath Tapscott may have had a chance to score on a passed ball, but the junior opted to stay at third.
Crawford struck out Zack Smith to end the threat.
Watson appeared tired in the bottom of the seventh, allowing Brett Hall a lead-off double. After an error put runners on the corners, Crawford singled home Hall for the game-winning run.
Watson suffered the loss, giving up three runs on six hits. He struck out eight in the complete game effort.
Crawford also pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out seven.