Andy Dixie Pre-Majors rally in wild game (THROWBACK THURSDAY)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 2, 2015


Editor’s Note: This article is part of our “Throwback Thursday” series. This article is from our July 7, 1999 files.


In a scene reminiscent of the movie “Varsity Blues,” the Andalusia Pre-Majors were left to figure out for themselves just how to come back and beat Eufaula in the opening night of the Dixie Pre-Majors District Tournament at Andalusia High School.


Both of the Bulldogs’ coaches Chris Hutcheson and Wayne Brooks, were ejected from the contest by the umpire crew in the fifth inning. In the bottom of the fifth, the umps tossed out Bulldog player Ryan Spry after showing a little too much emotion.


In the face of adversity, the Pre-Majors managed to cool their tempers, but not their desire. They took advantage of two Eufaula throwing errors to regain the lead at 8-7.


But in the seventh, Eufaula tied it when reliever Matt Geohagen was called for a balk. With runners now on second and third, the Bulldog infielders decided a pitching change was in order. Justin Chambers got the nod and got the Dogs out of the seventh inning striking out Steven Sowell and then getting leadoff man Jeremy Dykes to pop out to short.


Justin Sightler then lit the fuse in the bottom of the seventh inning with a leadoff triple to open the bottom of the seventh. Instead of loading the bases, Eufaula decided to pitch to Bryan Lee.


Stephen Dawson got two strikes on Lee, but on the next pitch, Lee got just enough to send the ball softly over the infield for the game-winning hit.


With the 9-8 victory, Andalusia moved on to play Opp on Tuesday night. Opp defeated Wicksburg 6-1 in the tourney’s opening game on Monday afternoon.


“How about Justin Sightler going in there and getting that triple,” said Hutcheson who watched the game’s final two innings from his truck. “Theses are some hard-nosed kids. They showed tonight with everything going against them.”


“I thought it was going to be a fly ball, but the right fielder looked like he didn’t know what to do and it just dropped,” said Sightler who finished with two hits.


So who’s decision was it to lift Geohagen for Chambers? “It was all of us,” said catcher Justin Brooks.


Chambers faced just three men but got the win anyway. Eric Hutcheson was the original starter and had a 6-2 lead going into the fifth but had control problems. He walked four in the inning and that lead directly to a five-run Eufaula fifth.


“Eric was just all over the place,” Hutcheson added. But Brooks said his pitcher was not getting any breaks from the umpire. “He got squeezed a lot.”


Eric Hutcheson finished with 135-pitch game. He struck out 10 but walked 11. Eufaula, however, didn’t take advantage until the fifth, leaving 11 men on base.


Andalusia scored five runs in the bottom of the first to erase a 1-0 deficit. Billy Bergfield and Sightler each delivered two-run singles. Brooks capped the rally with a RBI single to score Sigthler.


Eufaula got a run back in the second when Jeremy Anderson knocked in Sowell to make it 5-2.