Andy wins 14U district tourney (Throwback Thursday)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 30, 2015

Michael Couch takes a swing during the district tournament.

Michael Couch takes a swing during the district tournament.

Editor’s note: This article is part of our “Throwback Thursday” series. This article is from our July 4, 2000 files.

Pitching was considered to be the strength of Andalusia’s 14-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars, but after ripping the ball for 15 hits on Sunday, a different assessment may be fourth coming.

Andalusia completed a 3-0 run through the District Tournament by blowing past Covington County 13-7 in the championship game at Crum Foshee Field on the campus of LBW College.

The Andalusia 14’s will now advance to the Babe Ruth Area Tournament set to begin on July 13 at either Frisco City or Monroeville.

Andalusia manager Mike Wall was more than happy to see the hit and run production from his team on Sunday.

“Our hitting was super. The people we expected to hit for us were the ones who drove the baseball this whole tournament,” Wall said.

“We though our pitching would be our strength and it has been strong. All three of our starting pitchers went the distance and they were able to finish the game strong.”

In Sunday’s final, Michael Couch tossed seven complete innings to deliver the title victory. Only two of the seven runs allowed were earned. He struck out eight and walked six.

The only blemish on the day for the Andalusia All-Stars was their defense. Three errors in the second inning created a three-run rally for Covington County to put Andalusia in a 3-2 deficit after two complete.

But with the top of the order up in the third, the Andalusia big bats went to work. Luke Popwell, who had a 4-for-4 day in Saturday’s 13-2 win over Opp, led off with a single.

Neal Patterson followed with a fielder’s choice that moved Popwell to third after the relay to the bag was not in time. Daniel Wall then tied the game when he lifted a fly ball into right to score Popwell.

Couch followed with a single up the middle to put two on for Tyler Wilson. Wilson responded with a hit into right center scoring two to put Andalusia ahead for good at 5-3.

A passed ball and then a wild pitch chased home Wilson for a 6-3 lead.

Covington got a run back in the bottom of the third when Mark Geohagan single and then scored on a wild pitch from Couch to make it 6-4.

In the fourth, Andalusia faced their third County pitcher in Michael Hobbs. The first three Andalusia batters, Popwell, Patterson and Wall made it a rude welcoming belting a single followed by two straight doubles. Popwell and Patterson each trotted home after Wall’s shot to right-center made it 8-4.

After an out, Wilson followed with a single to right-center scoring Wall for a 9-4 lead. With two out, pinch-hitter Rob Foreman belted a two-run double to cap the six-run inning that made it 12-4.

Andalusia added a run in the fifth off a RBI double from Andrew Bryan to make it 13-4.

Covington County got two runs in the seventh off a two-run single by Dusty Hinson.

Wilson finished with four hits and drove in four runs. Wall knocked in three runs while Popwell and Patterson each had two hits.