Hartselle made sure to bring the hot bats to Decatur on Tuesday.

The Tigers used 17 hits to beat the Red Raiders, 16-0, in five innings to open their Class 6A, Area 14 series.

Hartselle (18-8) opened the game with five runs and seven hits in the first inning.

“We swung the bats pretty good today,” Hartselle coach William Booth said. “We’ve been hitting against some really good competition lately and that worked to our advantage.”

Hartselle also brought a good starting pitcher with them in junior Caleb Pittman. He struck out nine, gave up three hits, hit one batter and walked none.

“It’s a pretty good situation to be in when you can throw your first pitch with a 5-0 lead,” Pittman said.

Decatur had just one base runner to get past first base.

Hartselle warmed up for Decatur with a trip to Tennessee last week for six games against some of the top teams in that state. The Tigers went 3-3, but the experience seems to have them ready for area competition. The Tigers play Cullman next Tuesday and Thursday.

“It was a really good experience for us against some really good teams,” Booth said.

Every batter in Hartselle’s lineup reached base. Only one failed to cross home plate. The Tigers scored three in the second inning, five more in the third, one in the fourth and two more in the fifth. They had 11 hits in the first two innings.

Elliott Bray went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Blaze Gillespie went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs. Eli Snelson, Brodie Morrow, Peyton Steele and Glavine Segars each had two hits. Snelson and Coleman Mizell both scored three runs.

“They just kept getting hit after hit after hit,” Decatur coach John Frost said. “Then they bring a pitcher out there like that. He may be their best pitcher.

“It was tough to overcome. All credit to Hartselle. They have a heck of team.”

William Burgreen and Lawson Stricklin had two of Decatur’s three hits in the first inning. Banks Murphree had a hit in the second.

The teams are scheduled to continue the series Thursday at Hartselle with a doubleheader starting at 4:30 p.m.

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 david.elwell@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2395. Twitter @DD_DavidElwell.

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