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Tigers escape with win over Madison Academy

HARTSELLE – What looked like a lopsided win turned into a tight contest Monday night as the Hartselle Tigers barely escaped with a win over Madison Academy 7-6.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first, the Tigers jumped out on the Mustangs in the second, scoring five runs. They added another in the fourth, which pushed their lead to 6-2.

Madison Academy didn’t go away though. The Mustangs added two runs each in the fifth and seventh to force a one run game, which came as no surprise to Hartselle head coach William Booth.

“They are a very good team. Them and Corner, who we play tomorrow, are two of the best teams in 5A,” Booth said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy to get a win over them.”

The game started off rough for Hartselle in the first inning as the Mustangs scored two runs on an RBI double and Triple, while the Tigers stranded the bases loaded.

However, it didn’t take long for them to find their groove.

Drew Cartee blasted a two run RBI double in the second inning, igniting the Tigers’ offense.

“I was just thinking (going to the plate) that I had to do my job,” Cartee said. “We had runners in scoring position, and I knew I had to get the ball in play.”

After that Hartselle scored two more runs in the second on a bases loaded walks and another on a passed ball. Hartselle added another in the fourth on an error and one in the fifth on an RBI from Eli Snelson.

The Tigers were actually outhit 7-4 during the game but capitalized more with runners on base.

“That was big for us. Getting runners across when you have them in scoring position is all that matters,” Cartee said. “I felt like my hit got us going early and we never let up.”

Peyton Steele led the Tigers in hits with two. Caleb Pittman got the win on the mound, while Colby Widner finished in relief. Pittman surrendered six hits and four runs, with five strikeouts, although two of the runs were scored on an error. Widner surrendered one hit and two runs in two innings,

Despite giving up six runs, Booth was pleased with his pitchers, as well as his team’s ability to close out the game.

“They jumped out on us which was tough,” Booth said. “They hit Pittman hard that first inning, but after that he changed things up and pitched well, Then Widner came in and closed things out.”