Twice as nice

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Greenville High School baseball team scored seven runs on seven hits and four Andalusia errors for a 7-6 win against the Bulldogs last night. The win improves the Tigers' record to 9-2 on the season. Andalusia falls to 7-9. And is the second win in a row for the Tigers, who beat Andalusia in the bottom of the seventh in Greenville last week.

In Monday's game, Greenville went on top 1-0 in the top of the third inning when Brandon Anthony scored after reaching base on a strikeout and an error. He moved to second and then to third on two ground outs. Brandon Burnette knocked him in with an RBI-single.

Andalusia answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning for a 3-1 edge. Jeffery Etheridge started the rally with a lead-off walk. Michael Riley executed a "slash" play perfectly to put runners on first and second. After a fly out, Taylor Culbreath drew a walk to load the bases. Matthew Mellown then reached on an error which allowed Etheridge to score. Matthew Mitchell reached on a fielder's choice and plated Riley for a 2-1 Andalusia lead. Culbreath scored later on a double steal.

Andrew Phelps scored in the top of the second for Greenville making it a 3-2 contest. A four-run fifth inning gave Greenville a 6-3 lead. The Tigers scored four runs on one hit in the inning. Lynn Lewis, Brad Heartstill, Burnette and DeMarcus (courtesy runner for pitcher Dusty Coker) scored.

Lewis scored again in the top of the sixth for a 7-3 lead.

Andalusia rallied in the bottom of the seventh, but came up just short for a 7-6 loss.

Riley, Curtis Johnson and Culbreath scored in the seventh inning for Andalusia.

Greenville Head Coach Curtis Gray was humble after the game when asked if the Tigers' baseball program has made a turn for the best.

"I guess we've turned it around," Gray said. "If we win and make it to the playoffs we will have turned it around."

"It's nice to win against a team we haven't had much success against," Gray said referring to the Bulldogs.

Gray was especially proud of pitcher Dusty Coker.

The Tiger hurler threw 134 pitches to get a complete game victory.

"He's one of them," Gray said when asked if Coker was his best pitcher, who admitted he thought about taking him out in the seventh inning. "I've got three guys whom I rank all about the same. I really did (think about taking him out), but one of my pitchers is at home sick and the other is my catcher."

Andalusia Head Coach Ben Ramer said his squad is struggling despite some improvements.

"Most definitely," Ramer said when asked if errors continue to hinder the Bulldogs. "That's been the thing of our season. I thought we played better defensively today. I know we had four errors, but we've switched some things up and I hope those moves are going to help us eventually."

Andalusia pitcher William Mellown got his first start in a varsity game against Greenville and did well before tiring.

"He did a good job," Ramer said of Mellown. "He got a little tired there at the end, but he did a good job of keeping them off balance with his curve ball."

Ramer was especially proud of the amount of fight in his Bulldogs.

"We got in the same situation with them over there last week," Ramer said. "These kids don't quit. Quitting isn't a problem. We're just not executing baseball-wise hitting and fielding."

A win in a close game would do a ton of good for the Bulldogs.

"We need something right now," Ramer said. "We're not playing with a whole lot of confidence.

"We're struggling," he added. "We need some confidence, especially going into some big area games next week."

The Bulldogs will try to get a win and some confidence today when they travel to Troy for a game against the Charles Henderson Trojans. The first pitch is set for 5 p.m. Greenville will be back in action on April 5 when they travel south on Highway 231 and into Ozark. This will be the Tigers first meeting with Carroll(Ozark) Eagles. Following that game, their season will begin winding down. They host Charles Henderson on April 7 and then travel to Highland Home on April 8. Greenville ends their season with back-to-back-to-back region games in a late push for the regional championship. They host Carroll(Ozark) on April 14 at 5 p.m., and then turn around the next night (April 15) and play host to Eufaula also at 5 p.m. Greenville ends their season on April 21 with a road trip to face the defending 5A state champion Charles Henderson Trojans.