Bulldogs look to build off last season

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2015

Ridge Riley uses two hands to cleanly field a ground ball during practice.

Ridge Riley uses two hands to cleanly field a ground ball during practice.

The Andalusia Bulldogs (2-1) kicked off the 2015 baseball season this past week, and look to build on the momentum.


“Monday we played two good games,” Bulldogs’ head coach Tyler Dent said. “We did a good job of situational hitting. Tuesday, we a few errors and the score showed it.”


Did said that his team knows that they aren’t going to out hit or out pitch anyone, but that they will rely on the small things to get wins.


“We aren’t flashy and our players know that,” Dent said. “We are a blue-collar team. I keep preaching to them the importance of situational hitting like getting the ball on the ground and bunting. We have to be fundamentally sound.”


Dent said he would rely on his four seniors to be the leaders of the team.


“The seniors have done an outstanding job leading this program to where we are,” Dent said. “Since football ended, they have been hard at it getting ready for the season. They hold each other accountable, as well as the rest of the team.”


On the mound, Dent said senior Brayden Burkhardt would be his ace.


“Brayden has that attitude you need on the mound,” Dent said. “Right now, he is our guy. We need more than one go-to guy, and we are waiting to see who else will step up and prove themselves.”


Dent said he expects senior Hunter Earnest to have a good year in centerfield.


“Hunter started almost every single game last season,” Dent said. “He is a great outfielder, who makes great plays out there. He can go get it.”


At the plate, looks for continued improvement from sophomore Riley Graham.


“Riley came up last year and was our DH a good bit,” Dent said. “He is a tremendous hitter. He has a good approach at the plate, and he always gets the barrel on the ball.”


Dent said Riley was the type of hitter that you want at the plate with the game on the line.


After a deep run into the playoffs last season, Dent said this is a different kind of team this season.


“We are a younger team this season,” Dent said. “This is the first varsity experience for a lot of these guys. Obviously, a state championship would be fantastic, but we have to just take it one game at a time. Every chance we get to practice that is a chance for us to get better. We are in a tough area this year with Straughn, Headland and Ashford. There won’t be any games off.”


The Bulldogs home opener will be tonight at 5 p.m., when the Opp Bobcats come to town.


The junior varsity Bulldogs will begin their season with a double header at home against Opp on Saturday. This first game is set for 12 p.m.