DOGS CLINCH AREA TITLE: Andy secures playoff spot with win over Dale County

Published 12:05 am Friday, April 14, 2017

The Andalusia Bulldogs pounced early and cruised to a 14-3 victory over Dale County to clinch the Class 4A, Area 3 championship on Thursday in Andalusia.

Andalusia got on the board quickly in the bottom of the first inning, and were able to hold off the Warriors behind a stellar pitching performance from freshman Jacob Cravey.

“Jacob Cravey pitched a great game for us,” Andalusia head baseball coach Tyler Dent said. “He came out and really had command of the strikezone. The defense played well behind him and that always gives us a chance to win.”

After Cravey worked around a pair of singles in the top of the first inning, the Bulldogs went straight to work at the plate in the bottom half.

Ethan Wilson got the Bulldogs off and rolling with a scorching triple.

Riley Graham wasted no time in giving the Bulldogs the lead when he ripped a single between short and third to give Andalusia a 1-0 lead.

A single up the middle of the diamond from Hogan Nichols put the Bulldogs up 2-0, and  then Will Clark drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

In the bottom of the second inning, Will Jones stepped to plate with two outs and the bases juiced for a chance to break the game wide open.

Jones didn’t waste the opportunity as he laced a triple into the gap in right center that cleared all ducks off the pond for a 6-0 Andalusia advantage.

The Bulldogs really opened up the lead in the bottom of the fourth with an eight-run inning.

Graham singled in Gill Morgan for the first run of the fourth inning to put the Bulldogs up 7-1.

The Bulldogs later loaded the bases off of a couple of walks and a single.

Wilson nearly gave the Bulldogs a 14-run lead when he launched a rocket to center field.

The ball looked like it might sail into the trees beyond the center field fence, but ended up rattling off the top.

Wilson drove in all three runners with the double to put the Bulldogs up 14-1.

Dale County got a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, but couldn’t keep the game from ending early via the 10-run mercy rule.

With the win, the Bulldogs clinch the area and the right to host the first round of the 2017 AHSAA baseball playoffs.