AHS, SHS host playoff games today

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 28, 2003

Two second-round playoff games will be held in Covington County today when the Andalusia Bulldogs host the Holt Ironmen and the Straughn Tigers host the Dadeville Tigers.

The Bulldogs (17-11) host the No. 8-ranked Ironmen at 2 p.m. today. The Ironmen (21-4) enter the game with their best pitcher rested.

"I know they are 21-4," Andalusia Head Coach Ben Ramer said. "In the last poll I saw they were the No. 2 4A school ranked.

"They have a good pitcher and they didn't throw him in the first playoff game," he added. "The kid they threw in the first game is 8-0, but the coaches we have talked to say he is not their ace."

The Bulldogs will counter with lefty Daniel Wall and hope he continues to baffle hitters.

"He keeps hitters off balance," Ramer said. "He throws several pitches and at different arm angles."

The Bulldogs go into the game playing well, but Ramer said they must continue to improve.

"We've made some mistakes and haven't taken care of some opportunities, but overall we've played pretty well," Ramer said. "I still think we can play better. I hope we haven't peaked, but are headed that way."

The Andalusia coach said he expects a low-scoring game if the pitching lives up to its billing.

"We haven't hit too many home runs, so we will try to manufacture runs like we have tried to do all year," Ramer said. "They do the same thing."

The Straughn Tigers host Dadeville at 3 p.m. for a second-round playoff game today.

Straughn enters the second round of the playoffs with a 23-2 record and are ranked No. 4 in the state among teams in Class 1A through Class 3A.

Dadeville is not ranked in the latest poll, but had very little trouble in the first round with a 13-0 win against Leeds in five innings. The Dadeville pitcher threw a one-hitter.

Straughn also had a big win in the first round sending the Francis Marion Rams home with a 14-4 loss in five innings.

Straughn Head Coach Mike Buckelew said the Dadeville pitcher who threw a one-hitter against Leeds is not the only good hurler on the squad.

Buckelew said he expects to see Dadeville's lefty today.

"They are just a real solid team," Buckelew said about Dadeville. "They play great defense.

"We feel like we will face their left-handed pitcher," he added.

The Straughn batters have not faced a lefty this season, but have been busy working on it in batting practice the past two days.

Starting on the mound for Straughn will be Brent Hinds.

"He's got a fine fastball, change-up and curve," Buckelew said about Hinds.

The Straughn skipper also said he hopes his Tigers continue to play better and better each week.

"We've played our best ball the last week or so," Buckelew said. "We are playing a good team Saturday too and we will from now on."

Buckelew said he does not expect Thursday night's prom to be a distraction as his players prep for their second-round game.

"They know that we are going to have to play," Buckelew said. "I think they are ready. They understand they have the potential to go a long way."