Bulldogs to rely on roles in 2011

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 4, 2011

Andalusia senior Robert Woodall bunts the ball during batting practice Tuesday afternoon. The Bulldogs open their season on Feb. 21. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia baseball coach Jonathan Rasberry said every player on the team will have to play his role in order to have a successful 2011 season.

The Bulldogs are comprised of 12 freshmen, five sophomores, eight juniors and five seniors. Six of those are returning starters.

“I think we have a good variety of freshman to seniors because in order for us to be successful this year, everybody’s going to have to participate — play their role whether it’s just a base runner, a pitcher or a pinch runner,” Rasberry said. “There’s going to be a lot of roles for these kids from 9th grade to 12th grade.”

Andalusia will be playing in Class 4A, Area 3 with rival Straughn, Headland and Ashford this year.

Last season, the Bulldogs finished two close games shy of making an appearance in the playoffs. Clarke County stood in its way, beating the Bulldogs 6-5, and ending all hopes for a playoff berth in 2010.

Getting a good start this season is also a top priority for the Bulldogs.

To do that, Rasberry said all players will have to be on the “same page.”

“Everybody has to be on the same page early,” he said. “Last year, I think we were trying to find that identity, and that adversity early in the year to figure out how we were, or where we were on moving guys around.

“I think we’ve got to move some guys around, and try to let them make the best plays, and I think we can do that,” he said. “I think our guys have a litte more experience this year. Our leadership will be good with this group.”

Additionally, Rasberry said he’ll be relying on his core group of experienced players that have been under his tutelage for the last three years.

The seniors for the Bulldogs are Robert Woodall, Dilan Manring, Lee Miles, Rob Maddox and Lance Chambers.

There are also two additions to the coaching staff at AHS.

Will Cammack and Matt Johnson will serve as assistant coaches on the team.

“I’m really excited about this year,” Rasberry said. “I’ve had the oppportunity to have these kids growing under me. I expect a lot of them to play the game.

“I definitely think they understand what I expect, and know exactly what’s going to be required of us to be successful,” he said. “If we’re unable to excute and do those things, then it’s going to be a very unsuccessful year.”

Andalusia will open the 2011 season on Mon., Feb. 21 in a doubleheader road game against Jackson and Excel. First pitch against Jackson is at noon.