Reeltown was just five days removed from an 11-1 loss at Horseshoe Bend when it entered Thursday’s baseball game. However, it would be the Rebels walking away with their heads held high after dominating their rivals in the rematch.
The Rebels (8-7) scored at least one run in each of the first five frames and got a big pitching performance from Logan Hunt to defeat the Generals 10-2.
“It was important to come out here and play well,” Reeltown coach Trey Chambers said. “We’ve been in a bit of lull lately but it’s important to keep the guys motivated. We needed to play a good ball game today and that’s what we did.”
Reeltown jumped into the lead after Logan Lee hit an RBI single to score Gabe Bryant in the first inning but that was just the start for the Rebel offense. After loading the bases in the second inning, Reeltown added to its lead after two wild pitches and an RBI single from Hunt.
The four-run lead was all Hunt would need on the mound and he used that momentum to shut down the Horseshoe Bend offense. He sat down eight Generals by strikeouts in the first three innings, including a stretch of six consecutive batters across all three frames.
“That’s just Logan being Logan,” Chambers said. “We kind of expect it at this point but when you sit back and look at it, it’s pretty amazing to watch. We’re fortunate to have him.”
Horseshoe Bend (6-8) could not catch up to Hunt’s fastball which made the breaking pitch look even better. The Generals only got two hits off Hunt and scored one unearned run.
“The biggest difference today was their guy on the mound,” Horseshoe Bend coach Jason Johnson said. “He threw it right down our throats and we couldn’t put it in play. He threw the ball well and we didn’t make any adjustments at all.”
In his second longest outing of the season, Hunt pitched five innings before being pulled with Reeltown leading 10-1 after five innings. He tied a season-high with 11 strikeouts.
“Logan is a competitor,” Chambers said. “Every time he is on the mound, he’s going to give us his best. We just have to have the surrounding pieces to support him and we do for the most part. Getting out to a big lead today was big for us.”
Reeltown had lost five of six games entering Thursday’s rivalry, including being swept by area opponent Fayetteville last week. The Rebels responded well with a big day on offense, scoring 10-plus runs for the sixth time this season.
Lee and Hunt each had two hits and two RBIs at the plate while nine-hole hitter Cade Wood hit two doubles and scored twice. Every player in Reeltown’s lineup reached base at least once and seven of them scored at least one run.
“This game is all momentum,” Chambers said. “The Fayetteville losses were tough but hopefully we can take this and build off of it going forward.”
Horseshoe Bend found some offense late, loading the bases with no outs in the fifth inning. However, Justin Phillips grounded into a double play, scoring a run but ending the threat of a big inning.
“You have to preach to them to try to chip away,” Johnson said. “You’re not going to get all of them at once but we couldn’t string anything together. We couldn’t get enough base hits back to back to build any momentum.”
Reeltown will hosts Dadeville for a doubleheader today before returning to area play on Tuesday with a trip to Central Coosa. The Rebels will host the doubleheader on Thursday and will be looking for wins to crawl back into the playoff picture in Class 2A Area 7.
Horseshoe Bend swept its first area series before losing all three games to Ranburne before Spring Break. The Generals will have their final area series against Woodland beginning on Tuesday as they need two wins to clinch a spot in the postseason.
“I’ve been preaching all year that we have to be more consistent on both sides of the ball,” Johnson said. “We played really well the last three games but I told them it can’t be a roller coaster. You can’t just decide which games to play, it has to be all year.”