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Gillespie’s clutch hit helps lift No. 6 Hartselle over No. 7 Hillcrest

By Caleb Suggs

For the Enquirer

As a batter, turning around an 0-2 count is one of the toughest feats to accomplish. Friday night, Hartselle’s Blaze Gillespie did just that.

With the game tied 3-3, and with two runners on base, Gillespie quickly got down 0-2. However. Four pitches later he had worked himself back to 3-2. On the seventh pitch of the at bat Gillespie delivered a two RBI double over the third baseman’s head, which ultimately gave Hartselle the win over Hillcrest 5-4.

“All I could think about was my error in the previous inning,” Gillespie said. “I just wanted to get past that and come through for my team. It was a big moment for me.”

Gillespie’s hit helped the sixth ranked Tigers get the big win over No. 7 ranked Hillcrest.

“Anytime we can take another top ten team we’re just tickled to death,’ said Hartselle head coach William Booth. “We didn’t play as good as we could have, but we still played well. Either way we were fortunate to get a win because they are a very good team.”

After two scoreless innings to start, Hartselle took the lead 3-0 in the third thanks to an RBI from Drew Cartee and two RBIs from Brodie Morrow.

Auburn commit Elliot Bray was pitching well on the mound, which included navigating his way out of two bases loaded jams without allowing a run.

“I was struggling a little bit at first, but then I started feeling good out of the windup,’ said Bray. “I got into a stretch where I was getting my front side a little fast, but I got through it and started making the pitches I needed to.”

Hartselle’s worst inning came in the fifth when three straight errors allowed the Patriots to score two runs. Another single tied the game up at 3.

Despite the bad inning though, Hartselle rallied in the same inning taking the lead back quickly. The boost his team gave him allowed to sit the next three batters down 1-2-3 in the sixth inning.

“It’s great knowing that no matter how bad an inning I may have that they can come back and get it for me,” Bray said. “It felt great to come in the next inning and sit then down 1-2-3.”

The game ended in some when the Tigers threw out the game tying run at home. Booth was ecstatic at the way his team finished the game.

“We had that one inning where we had three errors in a row but we came back and finished strong ,” Booth said. “I was really excited about that.’