Andy Pre-Majors win sub-district crown (Throwback Thursday)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 9, 2015


Editor’s Note: This article is part of our “Throwback Thursday” series. This article is from our July 8, 1995 files.


The Andalusia Dixie Pre-Majors continued their winning ways by winning the sub-district tournament held in Dothan.


This is the third time the players on the team have advanced to the district tournament.


“This is a special group of kids,” Andalusia Dixie Pre-Majors coach Bobby Johnson said. “They made it to the district in Little League, they went to state as 13-year-olds, now they are going to the Dixie Pre-Majors district tournament.”


While they may have experience winning baseball tournaments, winning the Pre-Majors’ sub-district tournament was no easy task.


Andalusia had to play in six games in as many nights to win the tournament.


They got off on the right foot by beating South Dale 8-5 behind a complete game performance from Hunter Hobson on the mound.


In the second game, Jeff Hatfield struck out seven Rehobeth hitters over eight innings while allowing only 8 hits, but Andalusia could never get the bats going in a 3-2 loss.


“Hitting has been the only inconsistent thing about this ball club,” Johnson said. “We just didn’t hit very well in that game. We have three good pitchers in Hunter Hobson, Jeff Hatfield and Lance Johnson, and our defense has been solid all season long.”


The loss dropped Andalusia into the loser’s bracket where they would have to win four games in four days to win the sub-district champhionship.


Next up for Andalusia was Ashford.


Lance Johnson gave up three runs in the first inning to give Ashford the early lead, but Andalusia responded by scoring six runs over the next three innings. They were able to hold on for an 8-5 victory. David McVay led Andalusia at the plate by going 3-for-4 in the contest.


The win over Ashford gave Andalusia a chance to play Rehobeth again, this time with a birth in the finals at stake. Hobson doubled and scored in the bottom of the second to give Andalusia a 1-0 lead.


Rehobeth bounced back to score two runs in the top of the third, but McVay, Blackwell and Maddox scored in the bottom of the fifth to give Andalusia a 4-2 lead. McVay singled and scored on Ben Brannon’s RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to give Andalusia an insurance run, and it turned out that they needed it when Rehobeth scored two runs in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 5-4 before Hobson got out of the inning.


The win sent Andalusia into the finals to face undefeated Dothan Red. Andalusia had to beat Dothan Red twice to win the sub-district crown.


In the first game, Andalusia came out of the gate early by scoring nine runs in the first two innings.


Daniel DaCosta doubled and scored in the first inning for Andalusia, and he along with seven other teammates scored in the second to give Andalusia a 9-0 lead. Hatfield allowed one run on three hits in the game, and he never gave Dothan Red a chance to get back in the game.


The win put Andalusia in a winner-take-all game with Dothan Red, and Andalusia proved to be the better gambler.


“The games was like a gun fight in the Old West,” Johnson said. “It was whoever blinked first, and they blinked first.”


Andalusia scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second. Nick Maddox reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second to get in scoring position. Paul Blackwell then drove him in with an RBI single.


Dothan Red tied the score in the top of the sixth, sending the game in the final inning tied, 1-1.


Blackwell led off the bottom of the seventh with a bunt single, and he moved to second on a Dothan throwing error. DaCosta sac bunted Blackwell to third, and again Dothan made an error, this time allowing Blackwell to score giving Andalusia the sub-district title. Johnson went the distance, striking out 12 and giving up only three hits.