AHS Bulldogs win first game, 3-2

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 2, 2003

Playoff baseball is exciting, especially when a game is decided by one run late in the contest.

The Andalusia Bulldogs scored a run in the bottom of the sixth inning against the visiting Elmore County Panthers for a 1-0 lead in the best two-out-of-three series Friday. Elmore County rallied to win the second game.

The Panthers pounced on top 1-0 in the top of the second inning when Wilton Johnson reached base on a lead-off single and came around to score. Johnson moved to second via a stolen base and swiped third after a wild pitch. He scored when Michael Brennan hit a one-out RBI-single.

The Panthers dug their claws into the 1-0 lead and tried to hang on, but the Bulldogs fought back in the bottom of the third with two runs for a 2-1 lead.

Michael Dutton started the rally when he led off the inning. He was hit by a pitch and awarded first base. Dutton advanced to second with a stolen base.

The next Andalusia batter struck out, but Trevor Mathews did not let the rally die hitting an RBI-single to score Dutton. Mathews advanced to second when the Panthers tried to throw

Dutton out at the plate.

Daniel Wall followed Mathews in the batting order for the Bulldogs and delivered. The left fielder for Andalusia came up big with an RBI-single to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead when Mathews raced home.

The Panthers, however, got out of the inning without any more damage with a

fly out and a strikeout.

Elmore County's Panthers clawed out one run in the top of the fourth inning to knot the score at 2-2.

Robert Brennan started the inning with a lead-off double. Josh Ayers came in as a courtesy runner for the Panthers' catcher and scored later in the inning. He moved to third on a ground out to second by Johnson. He scored on an error when a ground ball off Michael Brennan's bat was misplayed.

Andalusia tried to manufacture a run in the bottom of the inning, but Andrew Harry's bunt attempt was popped up. Blake Reed caught the pop up and threw to first to double up Jake Hollingsworth who was moving on the play.

Harry got his revenge in the top of the sixth inning. The Bulldog third baseman caught a bunt attempt by Michael Brennan, on a squeeze play, and tagged out Robert Brennan near the plate to end a scoring threat for the Panthers.

The Panthers had runners on second and third with one out when Harry turned his double play, unassisted.

The Andalusia senior, however, was not finished getting his revenge.

Harry started the game-winning rally in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Bulldogs when he ripped a two-out single into right field. Harry advanced to second on a wild pitch to get into scoring position.

Andalusia Head Coach Ben Ramer inserted Chase Arrington as a pinch runner and it paid off for the Bulldogs.

Jacob McCollough kept the two-out rally going when he reached on an error to put runners on first and third with two outs for Michael Dutton.

Dutton, who scored the first run of the game for the Bulldogs, was clutch with an RBI-single to plate the eventual game-winning run in Arrington.

Michael Miller, who came into the game to pitch in the top of the fifth inning when a hard-hit ball struck starting pitcher Tyler Wilson in the head, closed out the game to earn the win.

Wilson, who was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, was not seriously injured. He pitched 4 2/3 innings in the game allowing two runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out 10.

Miller pitched 2 1/3 innings allowing no runs on three hits and no walks. He struck out four and got the win.

Reed pitched all seven innings for Elmore County and got the loss. He allowed three runs on nine hits and no walks. He hit one batter and struck out seven.


Elmore County once again pounced for an early lead against the Bulldogs with Kyle Futral hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning.

The Bulldogs answered with four runs in the top of the second inning when Andrew Harry, Michael Miller (as a courtesy runner for pitcher Will Cammack), Michael Dutton and Neal Patterson scored. Cammack had an RBI-double in the inning. Dutton also had an RBI-double in the inning. Trevor Mathews and Cole Sightler both had RBI-singles in the frame.

The Panthers clawed their way back out in front in the bottom of the third inning when Tony DeJarnett, Futral, Donnie McGriff, Robert Brennan and Wilton Johnson scored. Justin Robinson had an RBI-double in the inning.

Daniel Wall scored in the top of the fourth inning for the Bulldogs to trim the Panthers' lead to 6-5. Wall reached on a two-out triple and scored on a wild pitch.

Elmore County answered with a run in the bottom of the inning after a 30-minute rain delay. DeJarnett scored after reaching base on a single.

The Panthers tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when Robert Brennan scored again.

The score remained 8-5 in favor of Elmore County going into the sixth inning. The game was postponed for one hour due to rain in the sixth before it was called.

Kyle Futral was the winning pitcher for the Panthers.

The two teams square off at 2 p.m. today to decide who will advance to the next round of the state playoffs.

The winner will face the winner of the Gulf Shores-Trinity series. Gulf Shores and Trinity also split Friday and play a third and deciding-game at 12:30 p.m. today.