HUFFMAN — Gardendale has secured a spot in the Class 6A baseball playoffs, thanks to a pair of run-rule victories over Huffman on Tuesday.
The Rockets won the first game 14-1, and the second 17-1. Both lasted just five innings.
In the opener, pitcher Carter Burns (7-2) held the Vikings to just two hits while striking out five. Chris Walton was 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs. Joseph Calvert went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs, Hunter Crook was also 2-for-3 with one RBI, and Burns had a two-run double.
In the nightcap, Walton (4-2, 2 saves) went the distance on the mound for a one-hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks; the lone Huffman run was unearned.
Bryce Jay was 4-for-4 and drove in five runs with a triple and three singles. Calvert was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Chris Blakey went 2-for-4 and also drove home two runners for the Rockets (20-10, 4-2 area).
Gardendale will get the second seed from the area, after dropping two out of three against the area champs, No. 10 Hewitt-Trussville. The first round begins on Friday, April 19 with a doubleheader. Their first-round host will either be Mountain Brook or Vestavia Hills.
The Rockets are scheduled to host Briarwood Christian on Thursday, though that game is in jeopardy because of the threat of severe weather.