Eyes on the prizePublished 12:04am Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Andalusia’s Jud Rogers stole home to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 victory over rival Straughn on Monday night.
Rogers, a junior, reached on a fielder’s choice and scampered over to third after Will Harrison walked to load the bases and score the tying run at 2-2.
When Straughn pitcher Chase Short, who came in for a shot at the save in the seventh, started his wind up on a 0-and-1 count to senior Zach Ward, Rogers made his move, running down the third-base line and sliding head-first for the win.
“I knew I had it in the wind up,” Rogers said. “I felt great confidence in (AHS) coach (Jonathan) Rasberry’s call.”
Rasberry said Rogers had stolen a base before and it was a perfect set up for the game-winning play.
“When he (Ward) got a strike on him, we noticed that Chase was getting real slow on the wind up,” the Andalusia coach said. “(Rogers) had enough speed to get there.”
With this victory, the Bulldogs improve to 28-8-1 overall and are riding a 10-game win streak going into the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs on Friday, where they’ll host third-ranked UMS-Wright (22-9) on Friday for the best-of-three series.
Straughn fell to 15-18 on the season. The Tigers will travel this Friday to play top-ranked and undefeated W.S. Neal in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
AHS opened up the night with a 14-4, five-inning win over the Tigers in game one of the twin bill.
SHS coach John Fussell didn’t have much to say about the second-game loss.
“We’re just going to get ready for the playoffs,” Fussell said.
The Tigers were riding a two-hit game going into the bottom of the seventh inning, thanks to lefty Tucker Lawless’ help.
Lawless threw a two-hitter and struck out two, while allowing no runs in six innings of work to get the no decision. Short got the loss.
“The Lawless kid for them pitched a heck of a game,” Rasberry said. “He did a great job mixing up his pitches.
“I thought we didn’t have a very good approach after we won the first game,” he said. “I thought we came out a little flat, and kind of sat for a while. We made two huge base-running mistakes early in the (second) game that probably cost us a run or two. That hurt. We shot ourselves in the foot a little bit.”
Straughn scored its two runs in the top of the third inning when Johnny Owens and Keith Edgar hit RBI singles, both with two outs.
Lane Sirmon was the only Tiger who had a hit for SHS.
Andalusia’s Justin Scherzinger, who earned the win, allowed one hit and struck out one in the top of the seventh.
Evans Barnes allowed five hits, struck out two and allowed two runs in the no decision in game two.
Andalusia 14, Straughn 4 in 5 innings (Game 1)
Andalusia scored four runs in the first inning and five runs in the second inning to build a strong 9-0 lead.
Straughn cut it to 9-4 after the top of the fourth inning to keep the Bulldogs honest. AHS then added two runs in the bottom half of the frame and tacked on three runs in the fifth to get the mercy rule win.
Will Harrison went 3-for-4 with three singles and four RBIs to lead AHS. Brayden Burkhart went 2-for4- with two RBIs; Brandon Smith went 2-for-3 with one RBI; Quinton Maddox went 2-for-4; and Daniel Henderson went 1-for-3 with three RBIs.
Short went 2-for-3 with an RBI; Owens went 1-for-3 with an RBI; and Brennan Head went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Ward allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out one in five innings to get the win.