After starting the showcase with a 5-1 win over Florence (Alabama), TCA Conquerors Baseball played three games in the final two days of the Perfect Game High School Showdown in Hoover, Alabama. Trinity played teams from Alabama’s Class 4A. TCA played two very close matches and won the middle game ease.
Friday: Helena 2, Conquerors 0
Eighth-grader Brayden Harris pitched a complete game against Alabama 6A Helena. Harris (L: 0-1, 2.33 ERA) allowed only 2 earned runs on 5 hits (only 1 for extra bases) over 6 total innings; he walked 1 and struck out 10. He threw 59% of his 81 pitches for strikes.
Only a first-inning double and a sixth-inning single drove in runs for Helena, and those were the only innings in which Helena had multiple base runners.
Helena’s Mitchell Rhodes, though, was even stingier, allowing 0 runs on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 9 Conquerors in seven innings for the complete-game victory.
Alonzo Austin singled twice while Colton Avera, Andres Vazquez, and Noah Couch each had one single for the TCA.
Saturday: Conquerors 10, Etowah 1
The Conquerors led 6-0 after two innings and 8-0 after three, taking advantage of some defensive mistakes by 4A Etowah (Attalla, Alabama).
Vazquez, Avera (2), Austin (2), and Jacob Miller each drove in runs while that quartet plus Logan Dantzler all combined for 7 hits. The offense also drew 6 walks and turned 2 Etowah errors into runs.
Starting pitcher Gaige Denby (W: 1-0, 0.00) earned the win with a line that reads 5 IP, 0 R, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 HB, 9 K. Relievers Colson Altman and Braden Hansen each pitched an inning of relief, combining for 1 earned run on 1 hit, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts.
Saturday: Huntsville 5, Conquerors 4
The Conquerors completed the showcase with a seesaw battle with 7A Huntsville High School (Huntsville, Alabama). A few defensive miscues came into play and allowed Huntsville to build a lead midway through the game and hold on for the win.
After Huntsville took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth on separate run-scoring plays of an error, a double, and a single, the Conquerors got one back in the bottom half on Miller’s RBI ground ball.
Huntsville scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth on an error to make it 4-1. TCA’s Avera was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth, and Denby reached on an error that allowed Ashton Nugent to cross the plate. Miller then drove in a run with a base hit to put up TCA’s final tally.
A bases-loaded walk in the top of the sixth gave Huntsville the game-winning run. Ethan Wilford (L: 0-1) took the loss for the Conquerors in 5 innings of work. He allowed 4 unearned runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 3 strikeouts.
Miller and Eric Fouraker were both 3 for 4 to help lead the Conquerors’ offense.
The Conquerors (3-2) will play 8 of their next 9 games at Trinity Ballyard. The home opener is against Pace Academy (Atlanta, GA) at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 11. A battle with Tallahassee’s North Florida Christian follows – played at Providence – at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 15.
The next 7 games are all at home between March 16 and 31 against teams from Tennessee and Georgia as well as some of the toughest competitors in Northeast Florida.