Bulldogs win, 1-0
Fans expecting a pitchers' duel Tuesday night were not disappointed when Charles Henderson faced Andalusia.
Opening day for both teams had a Major League feel to it, as professional scouts lined up behind the back stop to watch Andalusia's Tyler Wilson face Charles Henderson's Pete Van Horn. In the end, an unearned run and a questionable no-call proved to be the difference as Andalusia defeated the Trojans, 1-0.
The two pitchers combined to allow only four hits and no earned runs, but Andalusia rallied in the top of the seventh inning to take the win. Will Cammack drove a full-count pitch up the middle to lead off the seventh. Two outs later, he stood at third with Neal Patterson at bat.
Patterson drove a hard grounder to Chase Clower, and Clower could not handle it. Cammack scored on the error, and the Bulldogs held on in the bottom half of the inning.
"I knew it was going to be a game like this," Andalusia Head Coach Ben Ramer said. "The last time these two pitchers went at it, it was a similar game."
Van Horn took the loss. He pitched 6 2/3 innings, allowed one unearned run on three hits and struck out 13 batters.
Wilson pitched a complete-game one-hitter. He struck out 12 batters, allowed no runs and walked only three.
"Both pitchers had outstanding nights," CHHS Head Coach Steve Garrett said. "You really can't say enough about the night they had."
The Trojans tried to rally in the home half of the seventh. Brett Pierce recorded a one-out single for the Trojans' lone hit of the night and advanced to second on a stolen base. He managed to get to third on a wild pitch when Daniel Porter walked with two outs.
Pierce stayed at third, though, as Van Horn flew out to left.
The game was not without some controversy, though. In the top of the seventh, Cammack checked his swing on a 2-2 count. The ball was not far out of the strike zone, and Cammack nearly got the bat all the way around. The home umpire ruled a ball, and on the appeal, the field ump ruled no swing.
"As good as the pitchers were pitching, you can't make a call like that," Garrett said. "I don't complain often about umpires costing us the game, but you can't put the leadoff man on base like that."
Two pitches later, Cammack singled to start the Bulldogs' rally.
Charles Henderson had a couple of chances to get on the board earlier in the game. In the third inning, Drew Walker led off with a walk, and two straight Trojans tried to bunt courtesy runner Chris Booker to second. Clower popped the bunt attempt up to Wilson on the first pitch, and Jake Kitchens' first two attempts went foul, and he struck out on the third pitch.
In the fifth, Porter reached on a walk, but Van Horn couldn't get a bunt down. After he struck out, Walker misread a sign and tried to swing away. He ended up striking out as well, and the inning ended when Porter was picked off first.
"We have eight seniors in the starting lineup, and we should be able to get a runner to second," Garrett said. "Against a pitcher like that, you have to be able to get runners over."
Andalusia (1-0) plays again Thursday when they host the Greenville Tigers at 4 p.m.