Bulldogs clinch area title

Published 12:05 am Saturday, April 9, 2016

0409-spt-BowdenThe Andalusia Bulldogs secured a first round playoff game at home by defeating the Ashford Yellow Jackets 11-0 Friday in Andalusia to win the Class 4A, Area 2 championship.

“Obviously, the biggest thing today was pitching,” Andalusia head coach Tyler Dent said. “Sim Bowden did a great job on the mound. I couldn’t be prouder of the way he pitched.”

Bowden rolled right through the opening frame even thought a one-out error got a man on base for the Yellow Jackets.

It didn’t faze the junior righty, as he struck out the next batter and got the next batter to ground harmlessly to Will Clark at first base.

Bowden rolled right along in the top of the second inning and retired the Yellow Jackets in order.

Riley Graham got things going in the bottom of the second inning with a double to the gap. The next batter was Clark who ripped a single past a diving shortstop to put the Bulldogs up early.

Clark then came around to score on perfect bunt down the first base line from Will Jones.

Andalusia continued the strong inning with a two-RBI single from Garrett Davis to put the Bulldogs up 4-0 heading into the third inning.

After an error gave the Yellow Jackets their second runner of the game, Bowden bared down sat the next three batters down in order.

The hot bats of Andalusia continued to wreak havoc on the weary Yellow Jackets, as the Bulldogs piled on seven runs to stretch the lead way out.

Clark led off the inning with a monster drive into the gap in left center for a stand up double.

The Bulldogs perfectly executed a hit-and-run with Jones at the plate.

As Clark dashed to third, Jones ripped a single through the hole, allowing Clark to score with ease.

After Ethan Wilson was hit with the bases loaded, Hogan Nichols mashed a bullet through the infield that scored Jones and Chase Hopkins for an 8-0 Bulldog lead.

Graham followed by driving in a run with a single to make it 9-0.

Clark’s big night at the plate continued with another blast to gap in left center that scored two runs to put Andalusia on top 11-0 after three innings of play.

Bowden retired the first two batters of the fourth inning before the Yellow Jackets were finally able to break through with a hit.

The Yellow Jackets may have ruined Bowden’s no-hit opportunity, but he wasn’t about to let them take away the shutout.

Bowden retired picked up the third out in the fourth and rolled through the top of the fifth to give the Bulldogs an 11-0 victory.

“I’m just proud of the players and the entire coaching staff,” Dent said. “We’ve been trying to tell them that it’s a marathon not a sprint. They are buying into that and we playing some really good baseball right now.”