Andalusia routs Wilcox Central

Published 12:40 am Saturday, April 6, 2013

Andalusia’s pitching staff helped give the Bulldogs a spot in the Class 4A state playoffs Friday night.

Ross Graham, Keontae Johnson, Brayden Burkhardt and Will Harrison combined for a three-hitter in their area doubleheader rout over Wilcox Central at AHS.

The Bulldogs beat the Jaguars 16-0 in game one, and went on to win 17-1 in the night cap. Both games were five innings long.

AHS coach Jonathan Rasberry said his squad has a great opportunity to finish out the regular season area series on a positive note.

“We hadn’t been in this opportunity in the last couple of years,” Rasberry said. “We’ve always had the opportunity to go to the playoffs, but unfortunately, it’s always been as the second seed (runner up).

“With the area the way it is, we have to play Monroe County Thursday and Friday, and have to win two-out-of-three for the area champoinship and for home field advantage (in the first round of the playoffs),” he said.

With these victories, AHS (21-8-1) is also two games shy of setting a new school record for the most wins in a season.

The Bulldogs next play rival Opp at Merchants Field on Tuesday for a doubleheader, starting at 4 p.m.

Graham allowed one hit in four innings and struck out 10 batters to lead the Bulldogs in game one; and Johnson struck out one and allowed one hit in one inning of work in relief.

Grayson Campbell went 3-for-3; Quinton Maddox and Jud Rogers went 2-for-3 each; Graham went 2-for-2; and Justin Scherzinger, Zach Ward and Daniel Henderson had one hit each.

Andalusia scored nine runs in the first inning, three runs in the second and four runs in the third inning.

In game two, Burkhardt had nine strikeouts in four innings and allowed one hit. Harrison struck out two and allowed one run.

Devan McDuffie went 2-for-2; Burkhardt, Ward and Rogers went 2-for-3 each; Brandon Smith went 1-for-1 with a home run in the first inning; Hunter Earnest went 1-for-1; Evans Barnes went 1-for-3; Todd Wright went 1-for4; and Grant Marcum went 1-for-4.

“I’m excited to see us coming together late,” Rasberry said. “I don’t feel like we’ve peaked by any means. We’ve hit the ball well when we didn’t play defense and pitched. When we’ve pitched well and played defense, we didn’t hit the ball well.

“Hopefully, it’s going to come together in these last two weeks of the season and we’ll make a run at it, and really show what this team is capable of,” he said.