By T. Scott Boatright
Being a defending state champion means you’re a target for all in the ensuing season.
Especially when the team — and district foe — taking aim enters the game ranked as the top team in Class B.
That was the case for the Choudrant High School baseball team playing at home Monday night against Weston.
After overcoming an early scare, the Aggies slowly took control and kept their feet on the gas, defeating the Wolves 9-0 at Tony Antley Field.
Weston (15-7, 2-1 in District 2-B), loaded the bases with one out in the top half of the first inning before hitting into a double play as CHS pitcher Landon Hennen worked himself out of the jam.
Hennen shut down the Wolves in the top second before the Aggies plated three runs on three hits and a fielding error when the Weston catcher had a very short popup by Eli Callendar land in his mitt before falling to the ground.
TJ Smith, Jackson and Case and Callendar all scored in the inning with Hennen providing solid offense for himself with a two-RBI single.
Choudrant was back at it in the fourth as Bryce McGuire singled, stole a base and scored on an Austin Swift single that pushed the Aggie advantage to 4-0.
“That feels good,” CHS coach (and principal) Tony Antley said after the win. “We’ve been playing good baseball. We had kind of dropped off with the bats a little bit, so hitting like we did against the No. 1 team in the state tonight was a big plus for us.
“Landon pitched a heckuva baseball game and we backed him up with good defense all night long. We gave ourselves a chance and swung the bat really well tonight. Even a lot of the outs were ‘good’ outs — hard hit balls that could have been in play.”
The Aggies grabbed firm control in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring five runs on five hits and a Weston throwing error.
Case led off the stanza for CHS with a single before advancing on a perfect bunt single from Callender. Then Case and Callender scored on a McGuire single before the Weston error and a two-RBI single by Stone Weaver pushed the Aggies’ lead to 9-0.
Hennen came in in the top of the seventh and three-upped and three-downed the Weston batting order with a groundout, flyout and strikeout that pushed Choudrant’s record to 18–7 and 2-1 in district play.
“This time of year you get a couple of days of practice and get motivated,” Antley said. “We were geared up to face a lefthander. That’s something we haven’t done much this season.”
And tying Weston for the District 2-B lead is something the Aggies, who came into the contest rated as the No. 4 team in Class B, was extra motivation for Choudrant.
“Us, Quitman and Weston all up there at the top and then Simsboro playing well, too — think about that,” Antley said. “There’s no room for letdowns in this district. It’s like playing in the SEC at this point.”
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