Bulldogs set for Childersburg today

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 2, 2014

0502 spt-Todd Wright

Andalusia’s Todd Wright throws home during practice Thursday afternoon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia will be facing a good Childersburg team today in the third round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 4A state baseball playoffs.

The Bulldogs will face a Tigers team that’s compiled a 34-2 record this season. CHS lost to Class 3A’s Sipsey Valley — who Opp is playing in today’s third round series — and Class 6A’s Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa at the Gulf Shores Classic Tournament in late March.

AHS coach Tyler Dent, who coached at Coosa Valley Academy near Childersburg and is familiar with the caliber of athletes in that area, said CHS has a lot of good athletes.

“They’ve got a good baseball team,” Dent said.

On the mound for the Tigers is No. 1 pitcher Zach Lightsey, a righty junior.

“He throws in the mid 80s and commands that zone real well,” Dent said. “Hopefully, we can go up there and put some good at bats on him and stay within our philosophy on people by putting pressure on them and it staying off of us.”

During the three rounds of the playoffs, the Bulldogs (22-10) have been working especially hard on hitting.

Last week, AHS erupted in game one against UMS-Wright to tally 17 hits to help in the sweep.

Dent said it’s all been about seeing the ball and hitting the opposite direction.

“We’re going to have to do that (today) to be successful,” he said. “I never expected us to hit the ball so well like we did (against UMS-Wright). We put together a lot of good at bats, a lot of disciplined at bats. Maybe if we can do that, we’ll be fine.”

As far as hitting is concerned, the Tigers have good hitters at every spot, Dent said.

Andalusia will counter Childersburg’s hitting with good pitching, which has been a big strength during the postseason.

One thing that Dent wants the players to pull from the second-round sweep over UMS to the third round is the attitude of the players.

“We need to stay loose,” he said. “The biggest thing is that it’s OK to show your players to have fun in the playoffs because that’s what it’s all about. Playoffs are the fun part of the year for us.”

Because the weather played a big part during the early part of the week, the Bulldogs never missed a practice.

First pitch in game one today is slated for 4:30 p.m. Game two will begin at approximately 7 p.m. In case of a split, the if-necessary game is at noon tomorrow.