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Bulldogs split with Dolphins

GULF SHORES - The Andalusia Bulldogs traveled here Friday morning in eager anticipation of a semi-final playoff series against the Gulf Shores Dolphins in high school baseball action.

The Bulldogs (21-13) proved their eagerness to continue the season with a dramatic 8-7 comeback victory against the Dolphins (30-11) in game one of the series.

Third baseman Andrew Harry sparked the comeback with a web gem to close out the sixth inning. After misplaying a slow roller to allow the Dolphins to put runners on first and second with two outs, Harry responded with the diving stop of a rocket shot. Harry then pounded the third base bag with his glove for the third and final out of the inning.

The play by Harry got relief pitcher Michael Miller and the Bulldogs out of a jam after the Dolphins had taken a 7-4 lead. It also seemed to give the Bulldogs a little lift going into the final inning.

A long fly ball to center off Cole Sightler's bat started the seventh inning. It was caught by the Dolphins center fielder for the first out. Jake Hollingsworth followed with a single and Will Cammack came in as a courtesy runner for the Andalusia catcher.

Harry was the next batter and he smashed a single into left field. The Gulf Shores' left fielder missed a routine ball and it rolled to the fence allowing Cammack to motor around the bases for a run. The Bulldogs now trailed the Dolphins by two runs.

Jacob "Worm" McCollough followed Harry with an RBI, ground-rule double to center field. The ball bounced over the fence for a double.

Michael Dutton knocked in McCollough to tie the game at 7-7 when the second baseman booted a hard-hit ball. McCollough slid into home ahead of the throw for the tying run as Dutton raced to second where he slid safely around a tag.

Neal Patterson provided an RBI-single to give the Bulldogs an 8-7 lead with Dutton scoring on his hit. The Dolphins got out of the jam with a double play.

Miller took the mound in the bottom of the seventh and threw strikes allowing his defense to record three outs and secure the win by a final score of 8-7.

The game started with Andalusia falling behind 2-0 in the first inning,only to answer with one run in the second when Tyler Wilson reached base and Wesley Liles scored as a courtesy runner. Liles scored on a passed ball.

Andalusia went on top 3-2 in the top of the fourth inning when Cole Sightler and Hollingsworth scored. Sightler reached on a double, moved to third on a balk and scored on a ground-rule double by Harry. Hollingsworth scored on an error when the second baseman misplayed Michael Dutton's hit.

The Dolphins went up 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth.

Andalusia scored one run in the top of the sixth to make the score 5-4. Trevor Mathews scored after reaching base on a bang-bang play at first base. He hustled down the line to beat out the throw for an infield single. He scored on an RBI-triple by Daniel Wall.

Gulf Shores went on top 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth to set the stage for the Bulldogs' comeback.

Miller was the winning pitcher allowing two hits and no runs in 1 1/3 innings of work. Wilson pitched 5 2/3 innings. He allowed seven runs on 10 hits and five walks. He struck out three.

In the second game, Andalusia fell 5-2.

The game was tied at 1-1 after three innings when Cammack scored in the bottom of the third. He reached base when he was hit by a pitch and scored on Hollingsworth's fielder's choice.

Andalusia went on top 2-1 in the fourth when Sightler scored after reaching base on an error. He came home when Dutton was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Bulldogs left the bases loaded in the inning.

The Dolphins tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth inning and took a 3-2 lead in the sixth. The Dolphins added two insurance runs in the seventh and held on for a 5-2 win.

The Bulldogs and Dolphins square off at noon today to determine who will play in the Class 4A State Championship Game next weekend in Montgomery.