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Bulldogs sweep Hillcrest

The Andalusia Bulldogs improved to 2-0 in Class 4A, Area 3, after sweeping Hillcrest at home Friday in the area opener for both teams. Andalusia won the first game, 10-4, and won the second 15-0 in five innings.

Andalusia was scheduled to play Hillcrest on the road Thursday, but those games were cancelled due to weather.

Andalusia 10, Hillcrest 4

Andalusia (11-9, 2-0) scored at least one run in every inning except the third, as the Bulldogs knocked off Hillcrest 10-4 in the opening game of the doubleheader.

Andalusia jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Hillcrest tied the game up in the top of the third inning. It could have been worse for the Bulldogs, however, as Andalusia’s defense made an unusual double play in that inning to minimize Hillcrest’s damage.

The Jaguars had the bases loaded with nobody out and the score 4-2 when Andalusia’s Brent Shiver came in to relieve starter Andrew Veasey. Shiver struck out Hillcrest’s Mark Barlow, but Andalusia catcher Nate Mack dropped the third strike. Because first base was occupied, Barlow was automatically called out, and Mack recovered the ball in time to tag out Quentin Simpson, who was trying to score on the play.

Hillcrest scored two more runs in the inning before Shiver struck out Rodney McQueen for the third out.

“(Mack) did a good job of blocking the ball up and tagging the guy at the plate,” Andalusia coach Jonathan Rasberry said. “He realized there was less than two outs and the base was occupied, so he didn’t have to throw it. That was a good job of knowing the situation and knowing the game.

“It was big for us to get a double play there. I think that was a bit of a momentum stopper for (Hillcrest).”

Andalusia took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Marcus Ingram scored on Shiver’s RBI groundout. The Bulldogs added three runs in the second as Veasey, Shane Culbreth and Lee Miles each scored a run and Ingram picked up an RBI single.

Andalusia added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Aaron Norris hit a one-out double and moved to third on Mack’s bunt single. Ingram followed with a two-run double that scored both Norris and Mack. Ingram would later score on an RBI double from Shiver.

In the fifth inning, Norris hit a two-run double that scored Dillon Manring and Veasey. Andalusia’s final run came in the sixth when Culbreth’s RBI double scored Veasey.

Andalusia 15, Hillcrest 0

The Bulldogs scored 12 runs in the first inning on the way to a five-inning mercy rule win over Hillcrest.

“That game was more of a team approach and the mental approach that I expect from my players,” Rasberry said. “The big thing for us in that game was the pitching performance by Marcus Ingram. He only allowed two hits and had 12 strikeouts.”

Every starting player in the Andalusia line-up scored at least one run in the first inning.

Robert Woodall was 2-for-2 with a double and Culbreth was 2-for-3.