It’s go time

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Andalusia’s Jay Brewer is one of three seniors on the Bulldogs baseball team this season. The Bulldogs hope to make it to the playoffs, after finishing one-game shy the past three years. | File photo

It’s a gray day over Andalusia’s baseball field and the Bulldogs are getting ready for another practice.

Players sweep the mound, get the batter’s box ready, stretch and get the heart going for the daily regiment they’ve been following since Jan. 30.

“We’re ready to get started,” AHS baseball coach Jonathan Rasberry said. “We’re about tired of practice and ready to get going to see where we stand up against people.”

The Bulldogs will begin their 2012 season on Monday against Brewbaker Tech at home, beginning at noon.

Rasberry said Brewbaker Tech is a good starter for the team, which is predominantly 10th and 11th graders.

“They’ve got some quality players, and they’ve got some youth, too,” he said.

Andalusia has three seniors on the team in Tyler Raines, Stewart Studstill and Jay Brewer.

But what the Bulldogs lack senior numbers, they make up for in the younger group’s experience.

“Six of them started at some point last year out of that 10th grade group,” Rasberry said. “Eight or nine of them played on the varsity team last year.

“With the younger guys, they have some game experience, but there’s nothing that can replace that game experience and they need a lot more of it,” he said.

This season, the Bulldogs will have to start with an entirely new outfield and catcher, Rasberry said.

He said he hasn’t solidified any positions for players.

“They’re competing for positions on a daily basis,” he said.

Instead of naming varsity and junior varsity teams, Rasberry said he keeps a whole roster, just like in the big leagues.

“Whoever my 28 are, I have my 28,” he said. “I just name per week anywhere between 16-18 varsity players. That way, I can pull up a JV guy to come up with us. It gives the guys the opportunity to keep competing and the opportunity to prove themselves to get that game experience.”

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

For the past three seasons, the Bulldogs have been one-game shy of making it to the post season.

Rasberry is well aware of that statistic.

“It’s been unfortunate,” he said. “We’ve been in some good areas.”

This season, the team motto for the Bulldogs is “Be Responsible,” Rasberry said.

“It can go with a lot of things,” he said. “Be responsible for yourself, your teammates. Be responsible for your job on the field, whether it’s at practice or in a game.

“If we take care of our responsibilties and do what we’re supposed to do, and each individual is responsible, then I think we have a god shot at being in the playoffs,” he said.