Handley got its first two wins of the season and started to get its bats warm in the process.
The Tigers entered Friday’s game against Tallassee having scored just four runs through their first four games (all losses), but they broke out for a 5-3 win in that game before coming up with a thrilling 8-7 victory over Clay Central Monday.
Against Tallassee Brantley Richardson pitched a complete-game two hitter in which all three runs he allowed were unearned. Richardson recorded seven strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
Evan Cofield was a catalyst for the offense in that game as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI, stole three bases and scored three of Handley’s runs. Casen Cummings also drove in a run for the Tigers.
Handley continued the good work Monday against a solid Clay Central team in a game that went back and forth before Handley rallied in the bottom of the seventh to win it.
Handley led 2-1 after four innings behind solid work on the mound by Logan Smith.
But Central pushed three runs across in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead.
Handley then responded to tie it up a 4-4 before Central again gained the upper hand with three more runs in the seventh.
Trailing 7-4 and facing Central ace Boyd Ogles, Handley’s hopes appeared slim. But they were able to rally to tie it and then won it on Allen Exum’s two-out RBI single that scored Cofield and set off a celebration at the plate.
Cofield again was critical to Handley’s offensive success as he went 3-for-3 and scored three more runs for the Tigers.
Riley Owens was 2-for-5 with an RBI and also picked up the win in relief of Smith. Owens pitched the final two innings and was the beneficiary of the late Handley rally.
Handley (2-4) is scheduled to return to action Thursday at home against Ranburne.