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Fielden ‘slam’ helps slay Dragons

Just a few minutes before strong wind and heavy rain threatened to overwhelm Hardin Valley Academy's campus Monday evening, Clay Fielden put an exclamation point on the Hawks' fourth District 3-AAA win.

Fielden's two-out grand-slam in the bottom of the fourth inning broke open a tight game, as HVA beat Clinton 8-2 in a rain-shortened five-inning contest April 4.

“He got one up in the jet stream there, he hit the ball pretty well,” said Hawks head coach Kirk Renegar, whose team improved to 7-4 overall, 4-3 in district. “That was a big blow.”

Helping keep the Dragons at bay offensively was stellar HVA defense and the pitching of senior starter Joey Covell, who improved his unblemished record to 3-0.

“Joey just did a great job on the mound for the third consecutive time,” Renegar said. “Got in a great rhythm right away. Went at the strike zone with three pitches. … Went out and didn't walk anybody for the second consecutive time.

“And got help from probably one of our best defensive efforts all year,” the HVA coach added. “A number of plays stood out. Elliot Whitt made a couple of great plays in right field. [Second baseman] Zach Ahmad made a nice play in shallow right field. Clay Williams made a nice diving play on a line drive at third base.”

Ben Barnett's fifth-inning solo home run closed out the scoring.

Down 1-0 in the first, Hardin Valley went ahead for good with two in the bottom of the first.

Whitt tripled and scored on Fielden's groundout. Ahmad reached on an error, then scored from first base on Graham Rowan's wind-blown RBI single.

After a trip to Alcoa for a 5:30 p.m. game today, Thursday, April 7, the Hawks play at Cumberland County Friday, April 8, in a make-up game.


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