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Enquirer photo/Caleb Suggs Hartselle freshman Peyton Steele celebrates after hitting a three-RBI double in the first inning Friday. Steele finished the day with six RBIs.

Steele has big day as Hartselle cruises by Muscle Shoals

By Caleb Suggs

For the Enquirer

Hartselle’s coaching staff puts it simply: Peyton Steele can swing it.

The freshman third baseman is turning into quite the star for the Tigers. Coming in on a hot hitting streak, Steele had arguably his best day yet in a Tiger uniform Friday evening against Muscle Shoals.

In the Tigers’ first area game of the season, Steele finished the day with three hits and six RBIs, helping to lead Hartselle to an easy 12-1 win over the Trojans.

“Their coach told me after the game that there’s not many guys he’d let swing on a 3-0 count, but (Steele is) one of them,” said Hartselle coach Jerry Childers. “He can definitely swing the bat. There’s not much else you can say.”

Steele has been a budding star for the Tigers this season, and Friday showed why. In the first inning, after going down in the count 0-2, Steele delivered a base-clearing double that scored three runs. In the next inning, he did it again, hitting a bases-loaded single to score two more runs.

“I’ve just been practicing. I’ve been in the cages a lot just getting better, and it’s paying off,” said Steele. “I’m just trying to help my team out the best I can. Try to get to that end goal of a ring.”

The win was never in doubt. Elliot Bray pitched a strong game, allowing four hits and one run while striking out nine batters. He also had three hits and two RBIs at the plate.

Hartselle is now 1-0 in area play.

“That’s where you want to be,” Childers said. “As a batter being 1-0 is the best position you can be in, it’s the same way in area.”

After nearly a week without playing because of inclement weather, Childers was pleased with the way the Tigers responded.

“The weather messed up everything, but we came out and played very well. Bray pitched an excellent game,” said Childers. “After the way we played in our last game, it was exciting to see us come out and play the way we did. We didn’t do a lot of things right in our last game, but I think the guys learned from that.”