Bulldogs slide past W.S. Neal
The Andalusia Bulldogs survived a late comeback attempt from W.S. Neal in the first round elimination game on Saturday in Andalusia to beat the Blue Eagles 9-8.
Garrett Davis was plunked by a pitch to start the game off and then the Bulldogs went straight to small ball to get three runs in the opening inning.
Ethan Wilson followed with a bunt single down the third-base line.
The Bulldogs then loaded up the bases when Hogan Nichols reached on bunt single to third.
With the bases juiced, Riley Graham dropped down a squeeze bunt in no man’s land and reached first with a third-straight bunt single.
Davis came around to score to put the Bulldogs on top 1-0.
Will Clark then hammered a pitched down the third-base line that allowed Wilson and Grant Holley to score for a 3-0 Andalusia lead.
Chase Hopkins reached to start the top of the second inning and then later came around to score on a steal of home. The play led to an error that allowed Wilson to score and put the Bulldogs on top 5-0.
W.S. Neal cut into the Bulldogs’ lead in the bottom of the second inning when Lane Chavers drove in a run with single to center.
After two innings, Andalusia was on top 5-1.
In the top of the third, Nathan Langley singled to start the inning and moved up to second on walk to Will Jones.
After stealing third, Langley came around to score on sacrifice fly from Hopkins.
W.S. Neal kept things close after plating a run in the bottom of the third inning.
Jacobey Hawthorne singled to start the inning and later came around to score off an error.
In the bottom of the fourth, W.S. Neal inched their way back into the game.
After a single and two walks loaded the bases, a single from Sam Frazier plated two runs make the score 6-4.
A bases loaded walk to Derrick Barton then made the score 6-5 after four innings of play.
Andalusia added another run in the top of the fifth when Hopkins was hit-by-a-pitch with the bases loaded and no outs.
Three straight strikeouts from Hawthorne limited the Bulldog threat to just one run and kept the game in reach.
The Bulldogs kept things going in the top of the sixth and plated two runs to take a 9-5 lead.
Langley scored off an error and Chandler Jones drove in Will Jones with a single to left.
After two quick outs from relief pitcher Langley, W.S. Neal cut into the lead with a two-run single from Dakota Graves to make the score 9-7 heading into the final inning.
W.S. Neal then loaded up the bases with one-out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Langley picked up a strikeout for the second out of the inning, but then an error allowed a run to score and make it a one-run game.
Langley wasn’t fazed and induced a groundball to the next batter for a fielder’s choice out and Bulldog victory.
Hopkins and Clark each finished the game with two RBIs in the Bulldogs’ win.
Clay Stephens picked up the win on the mound and Langley picked up the save.
“I can’t say enough about theses kids,” Andalusia head coach Tyler Dent said. “They fought hard for seven innings. They never got too high and never got too low. There at the end, Nathan Langley did a great job working out of trouble and giving us a chance to make plays. I couldn’t be prouder of this group of guys.”
Next up, Andalusia will host UMS-Wright on Friday night for the second round of the AHSAA Class 4A state baseball tournament.