Thursday, August 22, 2019






CLASS 6A STATE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES GAME 3: Hazel Green 1, Helena 0 (Hazel Green is state champ)

GAME 3: Hazel Green 1, Helena 0 (Hazel Green is state champ)
MONTGOMERY – Hazel Green High School Coach Frankie Perez said he learned early on in his first season as the Trojans’ head baseball coach that in a clutch situation, he and the team wanted to ball in the hand of senior left-handed pitcher Tyler Duskin.
   Friday night, Perez did just that and Duskin did not disappoint the Hazel Green faithful. Duskin hurled a five-hit shutout in game three of the AHSAA’s Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series as the Trojans nipped Helena 1-0, and Hazel Green (32-13) captured the school’s first-ever state baseball title.

    The Trojans won game one of the series 4-3 on Thursday night at Paterson Field, then fell in game two at Riverwalk Stadium, the home of the Southern League Montgomery Biscuits, 3-1 in game two to force the final game of the best 2-of-3 series.
   Duskin (8-2) was masterful from start to finish. He struck out six, walked none and pitched out a jam only a couple of times thanks to his sharp fastball and excellent control.
    Helena (27-16), making its third appearance in the state finals for Coach P.J. Guy, got a strong pitching performance from Landon Green in game two and also got a solid effort from game three starter Brooks Tolbert (4-5) and reliever Josh Daugherty. Tolbert pitched five innings, gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out one. Daughtery closed out with two shutout innings.
    The Trojans got the only run of the game in the top of the fourth when junior shortstop Bradley Hulin walked, moved to second on Hunter McGriff’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Jordan Beck’s single up the middle. With Duskin on the mound, that run would be enough.
     Helena got a runner to third base in the bottom of the fourth but Duskin got the last out on an infield grounder. The Huskies got another runner to third in the fifth but Dusking struck out the next two hitters to close that rally. With runners on second and third in the sixth inning, Duskin pitched out of the jam by getting the Helena batter to pop up to catcher Chandler Hardin for the third out.
    And in the seventh inning, Landon Green battled the left-hander for 11 pitches, fouling off seven strikes before grounding out to Hulin at short. Duskin then retired the side to seal the victory and the state title.
   The two teams each scored six runs in the series and mirrored each other with their solid defense, excellent pitching and timely hitting in what turned out to be one of the top championship series in the history of the baseball playoffs since it moved to its current format 17 years ago.

GAME 2: Helena 3, Hazel Green 1
Helena senior pitcher Landon Green (12-1) tossed six-hitter and struck out three to pace the Huskies to a 3-1 win over Hazel Green in  second game of the AHSAA 2018 Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series Friday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium to force game 3.
    Coach P.J. Guy’s Huskies (27-15) took the lead in the first inning John Stephen Heacock singled in Brody Moss, who opened the inning with a walk. Hazel Green (31-13) tied the game in the top of the third when Bradley Hulin walked and later scored on Jordan Beck’s sinking liner that turned into a sacrifice fly caught by Helena’s Trevor Bell.
    Helena regained the lead in the bottom of the third Richard Fitts singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Heacock’s second RBI single of the game.  The Huskies added an insurance run in the fourth inning when Josh Daugherty singled and pinch runner Tristan Waters scored when Trevor Bell doubled to left.
    Coach Frankie Perez’s two hurlers, starter Jackson Minor (3-4) and Hayden Lindsey, combined to scatter seven hits. Lindsey struck out six in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

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