GARDENDALE — A key 6A Area 12 series was won on Friday night when the area’s top two contenders settled their three-game skirmish with a doubleheader.
Gardendale dropped both games, 10-3 in the opener and a 7-3 nightcap, to take a second-place seat behind tenth-ranked Hewitt-Trussville in the area standings.
The Rockets had traveled to Hewitt on Tuesday to hand the Huskies their first area loss of the season.
“We played really poorly tonight,” said Gardendale coach Pat Keedy. “I’m disappointed, and I think all our kids are disappointed after playing great Tuesday.”
Both contests were dictated by big innings from the visitors that broke Gardendale’s will and made for a long night at the ballpark for home fans.
Game one was knotted at one before a devastating eight-run fourth inning was engineered by Trussville to put the game out of reach.
“Everything went right for them and nothing went right for us in that inning,” said Keedy of the fourth.
Though the numbers were smaller, the Huskies’ bite was equally effective in game two when they damaged the Rockets with a four-run second.
Senior Chris Walton threw four complete innings in the opener, while righty Alec Talley went all the way for Trussville. Walton was relieved by Chase Graveman in the fifth at the bottom of a 9-1 hole. Graveman allowed one run in his three innings of work.
Walton battled 13 Huskies in the cruel fourth. He allowed only one extra-base hit, but the five hits, two errors and two free passes to first base were enough tear the game wide open.
Catcher Jake Freeman and designated hitter Seth Alford did the damage for Gardendale. Alford tied the game at 1-1 with a towering homer over the left field wall — the Rockets’ first dinger on their home field this season — and Freeman placed a two-run double into the right-center gap.