CCHS scores in bunches against Talladega

Published 2:24 pm Monday, February 27, 2017

The Chilton County Tigers picked up its first win of the young season with a convincing 18-4 victory in five innings against Talladega High School at home on Saturday.

The home fans had plenty to cheer about, as the Tigers piled on the runs.

“It’s always good to get your first win, and I was able to get some guys in the game that I wanted to see play at different positions,” CCHS head coach Ryan Ellison said. “Hopefully it will jumpstart us for the rest of the year.”

Talladega grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of first inning with help from an error and three walks surrendered by starting pitcher Austen Thornton.

“We’ve got room for improvement [pitching], but we’re on the right track,” Ellison said. “It should come on as the season progresses and guys get more innings under their belts.”

However, the Tigers did not trail for long, Chilton County scored four runs in the bottom half of the inning and set the tone for the rest of the game.

With the offense providing a cushion for Thornton, who was making his first start at the varsity level as a freshman, he was able to establish a rhythm on the mound and focus on hitting his spots.

“It’s a big change and it has taken some getting use to,” Thornton said. “You just have to take it one pitch at a time and do whatever you have to do to get to that next inning.”

Chilton County added three runs in the second inning and chased the Talladega starting pitcher from the game after just two innings of work.

Each player in the Tigers’ starting batting order scored at least one run, as contributions were found up and down the lineup.

The Tigers batted around in the order in both the first and third innings.

“I’m looking for guys who will step up to be leaders and bring energy to the team,” Ellison said. “We’re seeing how we mesh as a team and trying to learn how to compete day in and day out.”

Patience at the plate was key to Chilton County’s success, as the Tigers drew 16 walks in the game.

Griffin Green and Dustin Langston each hit a double on the day.

“We’ve got guys that are competing for positions and we’re trying to give as many chances as possible early on,” Ellison said. “We’re trying to look at who’s the best fit for our team.”

The Tigers go on the road to play county rival Jemison on March 3.