Andy, Straughn, Opp, FHS to hold area series

Published 12:01 am Friday, March 23, 2012

Four local baseball teams will be in area action today and tomorrow.

Andalusia and Straughn, in Class 4A, Area 3, will face Headland and Ashford, respectively, in a one-game series today and a doubleheader tomorrow, if necessary.

Opp, in Class 3A, Area 2, will play Geneva in the same series time frame as AHS and SHS, and Florala, in Class 1A, Area 2 will visit Kinston tonight for a doubleheader.

Each area series is the best-out-of three.

The ninth-ranked Bulldogs (10-4) are coming off of more than a week without hitting the diamond. Andalusia’s last games were against Dothan and Wicksburg in the Southeast Invitational Tournament last Tuesday night.

AHS coach Jonathan Rasberry said the team will try and take advantage of the opportunity to play Headland.

“I think we’re both very similar teams,” Rasberry said. “They’re a good baseball team. They’ve got a couple of good hitters. They run the bases well.

“It’s going to boil down to who executes and makes the plays,” he said. “I think it’s a good start to play them (in area). Headland and Straughn and Ashford are all three quality teams.

“That’s (Headland is) what we’ve geen working on all week. Hopefully, we’ll play a little better than we did last year. The kids don’t feel like we showed what we’re capable of,” he said.

If Andalusia were to win today, then it would only need to win one game of the doubleheader tomorrow at home to win the area series.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to play them again,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to go out there and see what we’re made of. Hopefully, when we’ll get done on Saturday, we’ll maybe be 2-0 in the area.”

For Opp, the seventh-ranked Bobcats (8-2) will play Geneva, a team with a lot of “left-handed” players, especially on the pitching squad.

However, OHS coach Michael Cassady said the team held an intersquad practice on Monday and Tuesday to get ready for the Panthers.

“It’s a big series,” Cassady said. “Geneva’s got a quality baseball team.

“Their left-handed pitchers — Scott Stout and George Smith — play good defense,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of good players on there as well. It’s going to be a good game. Hopefully, we’ll show up as well.”

Additionally, GHS has quite a few power-hitters, Cassady said.

The Bobcats’ last game was against Pike County last Friday, also in area action. But, the game came up a little short when PCHS had to call the game in the top of the second inning because it had too many injured players and not enough reserves to continue the game.

Opp won against PCHS 6-0 to claim the area series 2-0.

Cassady said it’s important that his team come out with a win today because it will give the Bobcats a boost going into tomorrow’s if-needed doubleheader.

Additionally, Cassady said playing against a team with four left-handed players is rare for this area. He said in the three years while coaching at OHS, he’s only had one lefty on his team.

“Anytime you can throw from that side, it makes it a little difficult for the hitters,” he said. “Anytime you got a lefty that hits his spots on the left side, it comes from a different angle.

“The kids will have to make their adjustments early. We told them it’s seven-inning game and we can’t play for one inning, we’ve got to play for seven.”

The Bobcats will visit Geneva tonight in a single game, and will host the Panthers in a doubleheader tomorrow, if needed.

Straughn (10-7) will face Ashford in its area series today and tomorrow. The Tigers will host the Yellow Jackets tonight, and will travel tomorrow to complete the series for an if-needed doubleheader.

The Wildcats (4-3) play two games today, and if they win both, they’ll win the series.