Bulldogs finish 2nd at tourney

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Andalusia's Justin Scherzinger connects during the Bulldogs' win over W.S. Neal Tuesday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia’s Justin Scherzinger connects during the Bulldogs’ win over W.S. Neal Tuesday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

With the taste of spring break in their mouths, Andalusia’s Bulldogs bore down to finish 3-0 in the 2014 Butch Youmans Memorial Baseball Tournament in Opp on Tuesday.

Andalusia defeated Excel 8-2 to start the windy and cold day at the sports complex in the opportune city.

Against W.S. Neal, the Bulldogs scored two runs in the sixth to take a lead they’d never give up in a 4-2 decision over the Eagles.

“Both days we showed up and played good ball,” AHS baseball coach Tyler Dent said. “Like I just told them, it was a total team effort, especially the dugout in that last inning of the (WSN) ball game. We battled right there.

“W.S. Neal has a good ball team with a lot of class,” he said. “I’m proud of the boys, and I’m proud of the program. It’s three great wins for the program.”

Because of the runs allowed rule, Opp — who also finished 3-0 at the tournament — finished in first, and Andalusia in second.

Quinton Maddox allowed one run on four hits and struck out five in five innings of work to get the win in the Bulldogs’ game against WSN.

The game was tied 1-1 all the way from the first inning until the fifth, where the Eagles broke the tie when W.S. Neal scored on an outfield error.

Errors did rear their head in Andalusia’s first game and they’re something that needs work, Dent said.

“Defensively, we’ve got to get better,” the coach said. “We’re kicking it around a little bit. We’re going through a stretch where it was getting tough. The infield was getting hard and it was taking bad hops. We’ve got to stick with it, and make it worth it.”

The Bulldogs took their 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning.

Brayden Burkhardt laid down a great hit and run to allow Grayson Campbell to score and tie the game at 2-all.

Jud Rogers, who reached by beating the throw at first, scored on a force out at first to get the one-run lead.

Dent said it took “execution” to get those two runs.

“It was good base running, too,” he said. “I was very pleased with it all week.”

Andalusia tacked on its fourth run when Daniel Henderson scored on an RBI single from Campbell. Henderson hit a triple and was geared up for the hit.

Brandon Smith went 2-for-4; Maddox went 1-for-4 with a double; and Campbell went 2-for-4.

Ross Graham came in to relieve Maddox in the sixth and got the save, striking out three while allowing three hits.

Against Excel, AHS scored two runs each in the third and fourth; one run each in the fifth and sixth; and two runs in the seventh.

Smith went 2-for-4 with a double; Maddox went 2-for-3 with a home run and a triple; and Henderson went 2-for-4 with a double.