Widener's 7 RBIs, grand slam highlight Tigers' 15-1 win over Moody

By Staff
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
MOODY – Junior outfielder Ethan Widener had arguably the two biggest hits of Hartselle's 15-1 first-round playoff romp over Moody, and they couldn't any have been more different.
The first big hit came in the third inning with the Tigers leading 2-1. With Justin Hargett on first base and Tony Weaver on third, Widener made contact with a soft bloop hit that got past Moody right fielder Justin Cardwell and allowed both Hargett and Weaver to score.
The second hit was more conventional – a grand slam in the seventh inning. Widener also had a sacrifice fly in the first inning to finish with seven RBIs in the Tigers' victory.
"I hit it and I thought it was going to be an out," Widener said of the third-inning two-RBI hit. "I just ran as hard as I could and I looked up and coach (Chris) Heaps was rounding me around second so I took third. On the home run, I had two strikes on me so I was looking for a strike and he threw me a low fastball so I just hit it as hard as I could."
The win means Hartselle will host Etowah in a second-round best-of-three series at Sparkman Park Friday and Saturday. Etowah advanced with a 13-5 win over Scottsboro.
The Tigers' bats, which have been dormant at times this season, exploded offensively against Moody. Hartselle finished the game with 13 hits, including three home runs.
"I don't know what we did to the bats, but whatever it was we need to continue doing it," Hartselle coach William Booth said. "We got more hits tonight than I think we've gotten in the past two weeks."
The game started sluggishly for the Tigers as both teams plated a run in the first inning. Hartselle scored in the top of the frame when Quinn Dunlap led off the game with a single and eventually scored on Widener's sacrifice fly.
Moody knotted the game in the bottom of the first as Hartselle starter J.C. Bates struggled with control, issuing a bases-loaded walk to Brian Hamby that scored Davis Harrison. But Bates worked out of further damage, forcing Tyler Hamby to ground out to end the threat. He settled down after the shaky first inning, finishing with four innings of work while allowing two hits and striking out six. Will Rankin worked the final three innings and struck out the last six batters he faced.
Also hitting home runs in the game were Jake Bradford and Caleb Murphy, both of whom hit solo shots – Murphy's came immediately after Widener's grand slam to give the Tigers back-to-back home runs. Bradford finished with two RBIs and two runs and Tyler Young had two RBIs and one run.
Dunlap, Hargett and Ryder Brasher each scored two runs, while Weaver was 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI.

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