Tigers beat Bulldogs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Straughn won its own baseball tournament Saturday night, defeating Andalusia in the championship game 7-6 in eight innings.

Straughn coach John Fussell said he was impressed with the way his team played throughout the tournament.

“They played hard,” Fussell said. “That whole team just pulled together and played and that was amazing.

“I knew Andalusia was going to hit the ball and they did,” he said. “They have hit the ball and they’ve got a real good baseball team.”

Earlier in the day, Andalusia rallied from a 3-1 deficit to score five runs in the last two innings edging Dale County 7-5.

Before taking advantage of Dale County with a late surge, Andalusia lost to Straughn in the winner’s bracket 12-8.

Straughn’s first game of the day Saturday ended up being a 12-2 win over Red Level.

Red Level was knocked out of the tournament with a 12-2 loss to Elba.

Straughn boys 7, Andalusia boys 6

The turning point in the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Tigers trailing, 6-4.

Straughn’s Nick Allen hit a 2 RBI double to score Zack Turvin and Luke Fussell to tie the game up.

Before Allen’s double, Chase Short got on base with a single and Turvin reached on a double. Then, Cody Hughes hit a sacrifice grounder to send Short home.

Earlier in the game, Andalusia (7-14) put pressure on Straughn taking a commanding lead in the third inning scoring six runs on three hits.

Andalusia freshman Zack Ward hit a three-run home run to give the Bulldogs a 6-3 lead.

Earlier in the third inning, Andalusia scored three runs on two hits to tie the game back up before Ward’s home run.

Straughn (17-3) managed to squeeze one more run in at the bottom of the eight inning on an RBI single from Short to score Zack Lunsford on a slide.

Andalusia’s Robert Woodall was 2-for-5 with one single and one triple; Shane Culbreth was 1-for-5 with one single and one run; Nate Mack was 0-for-4 with one run; Dilan Manring was 2-for-4 with two singles, one RBI and one run; Aaron Norris was 1-for-4 with one single, two RBIs and one run; Rob Maddox was 3-for-4 with three singles and one run; Ward was 1-for-4 with one home run and three RBIs; and Jay Brewer was 1-for-4 with one single.

Andalusia coach Jonathan Rasberry had nothing but positive things to say about how his team hit the ball at the Straughn tournament.

“That was something I was really proud of,” he said. “The whole weekend we swung the bat pretty well. I think in the championship game we did a good job with our approaches and hitting the ball well. We had another key hit from our freshman Zack Ward with his home run that ended up taking their starting pitcher (Josh Dewrell) out.

“I thought after that point we sat on our lead at 6-3 and was naturally satisfied with who else they’re going to throw and we didn’t,” he said. “In the next two innings we had runners in scoring position and we didn’t execute.”

Straughn’s Josh Dewrell was 1-for-2 with one single and one RBI; Hughes had one RBI; Fussell was 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run; Allen was 2-for-4 with one single, one double, two RBIs and one run; Levi Lumpkin was 1-for-4 with one single and one RBI; Lunsford was 3-for-5 with three singles and one run; Short was 3-for-4 with one single, one triple, two runs and one RBI; and Turvin was 1-for-3 with one double and two runs.

Andalusia boys 7,

Dale County boys 5

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Mack hit a clutch solo home run, which gave the Bulldogs the needed momentum to come out with a 7-5 win over Dale County to advance out of the loser’s bracket Saturday night.

To clinch the win, Manring sent a two-run home run in the seventh inning sailing over the outfield fence to help get his team out of the loser’s bracket and into the championship game.

“It’s a real compliment to the boys,” Rasberry said. “I think they’re really playing together as a team. I think they’ve learned. We started out at 0-5 and our whole thing is to peak in the end, and I think we’re starting to do that and we’re starting to gradually climb the ladder or mountain to get to the top.”

First at bat, Lee Enzor for Andalusia hit a single to reach on base before Manring’s home run.

Leading up to Mack’s solo home run, Dale County lead 5-1, scoring two runs in the first inning, one run in the fourth and two in the top of the sixth.