Baseball 1st sport affected by junior high

Published 10:02 pm Thursday, November 27, 2014

Andalusia High School had 42 kids try out for the varsity and junior varsity baseball teams recently, and will look to be a contender this upcoming season.

“We lost 10 seniors off last year’s team, and seven or eight of those were everyday players,” Andalusia baseball head coach Tyler Dent said. “We had a lot of holes to fill, and after seeing the players last week we feel a lot better about the upcoming season now.”

Dent said one player that really stood out was Hunter Earnest.

“You could tell that he put a lot of time and effort into the off season to get better. He has put on some muscle, so we are proud of that effort that he has shown,” Dent said.

Dent said that Monday and Tuesday of tryouts consisted of a lot of fundamentals so the coaches could gauge the kids’ grasp of the game.

“We spent Monday and Tuesday in the indoor facilities working on fielding ground balls, hitting cut-off men, and other fundamental drills,” Dent said. “Wednesday and Thursday we spent a lot of time on the field taking rounds of infield, shagging fly balls, and a little hitting practice.”

Friday, they split the players up to play an intra-squad game.

“Friday, we wanted to see how the players would respond in game situations, so we held a intra-squad game. It was a good showing for the kids, and we know now that we have the talent to fill in the holes that we had,” Dent said.

Of the 42 players who tried out, 16 were selected to the junior varsity team and 16 were selected to the varsity team. The varsity team consists of five seniors, eight juniors, and three sophomores.

“It was great to have such a great turnout for tryouts this year,” Dent said. “Last year we didn’t even have enough for tryouts, we just had a few days of practice and didn’t have to cut anyone. This was an amazing turnout this year, and I want to thank all the kids for showing interest in our baseball program.”

Andalusia will open the season in the W.S. Neal baseball tournament Feb. 16-20. They will face Clarke County, St. Paul’s, Opp and W.S. Neal.

“We will see early on what we are made off, and when we signed up for this tournament that is what we were wanting to do,” Dent said.

Dent said that the area they play in will be a tough one, with Straughn, Headland, and Ashford. Dent said he expects those teams to be really good this season.

Dent said his team won’t be hitting a ton of home runs or blowing the ball past hitters, but expects his players to do the small things in order to win.

“It’s a good group of guys we that we will have, and they will have to hustle to win,” Dent said. “We have to do the little things right, and we will just try to out scrap you.”