Perfect game leads Tigers to first-round sweep of Pinson Valley
Jack Smith saved his best performance of the season for the opening round of the 6A state playoffs. He threw a perfect game in game two of Hartselle’s series sweep of Pinson Valley.
Smith, an Arkansas signee, struck out nine and walked none in seven innings as the Tigers won 10-0.
“This is unbelievable,” Smith said. “I pitched a perfect game in travel ball when I was seven. But it’s unbelievable to do it here in a playoff game.”
Hartselle, who is looking to repeat as the 6A state champions, now moves on to the second round as they will host Minor, who swept Mae Jemison. The series is scheduled to start Friday at 4:30 pm.
Game one: Hartselle 15, Pinson Valley 1
The Tigers started slow but rallied to cruise past Pinson Valley in game one of their 6A playoff series.
The visiting Indians took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after scoring on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded.
Hartselle took the lead in the bottom of the second when Coleman Mizell, an Alabama signee, connected on a three-run home run to give the Tigers a 3-1 lead.
The Tigers continued their offensive onslaught in the third inning, scoring 12 runs to extend their lead to 15-1.
The long ball ignited the Hartselle run in the third inning. Greyson Howard, the Tigers’ starting pitcher, helped his cause with a three-run home run to push the lead to 6-1. After pushing the lead to 10-1, Lawson Williams added a grand slam to make the score 14-1. Howard scored Hartselle’s final run when he was scored following an Eli Tidwell sacrifice fly.
Mizell finished with three hits and four RBI, while Williams had a hit and four RBI. Howard had a hit and three RBI, along with three walks.
Howard pitched four innings in picking up the win. He allowed one run on four hits. Jace Meadows closed out the game with a scoreless fifth.
Game two: Hartselle 10, Pinson Valley 0
The story of the game was Smith’s perfect game. But the Hartselle offense backed him up to finish off the two-game sweep.
The Tigers scored a run in the first and the second to take a 2-0 lead.
They blew open the game in the fifth when they extended their lead to 8-0 after scoring six runs on five consecutive at-bats.
The Tigers added a run in the sixth and seventh to make the final score 10-0.
Tidwell finished 4-for-5 with three doubles, two RBI and three runs scored. Cam Palahach, Williams and Cade Miles had two hits apiece.