READY FOR THE DIAMOND: Andy prepares for upcoming baseball season

Published 12:05 am Friday, February 2, 2018

The Andalusia Bulldog baseball team began practicing this week for the  upcoming 2018 season.

“It’s been a good week,” Andalusia head coach Tyler Dent said. “We have gotten after it pretty good.”

Dent said they still have plenty to work on before the start of the season.

“We have been covering a lot in a short amount of time,” Dent said. “That’s the thing with baseball. There are 1,000 different things that you can throw at them. We know we are going to have to go back and cover some other stuff, but we are just trying to cover as much as possible before February 19.”

While Dent said he has seen good things at practice, he also said there have been things that he hasn’t been pleased with.

“On Tuesday, we played our first intersquad game,” Dent said. “It was OK, but I was a little disappointed in the effort. We addressed that, and I expect better attitudes and effort from them

The Bulldogs will open the season on the 19th at home against Trinity.

“Coach Whittle has been around for a long time and he is one of the best coaches in the state,” Dent said of Trinity’s head coach. “They are a great program and we enjoy playing them.”

Dent said that while he wants to the team to start strong, he is more concerned about the way they finish.

“Our philosophy is that we want to be playing our best baseball in late March and early April,” Dent said. “Not that we don’t want to play well in February, but we want to finish our the year strong.”

This year, Dent said that he wants the Bulldogs to go deeper into the playoffs.

“Our goal is to host the first round of the playoffs,” Dent said. “We want to improve every time we practice because we have a tough area with Dale County and Ashford. We are going to have our work cut out for us. Last year, we lost in game three of the first round. I’m still disappointed in the effort we played with in that game.”

Dent said that he has a good number of returning players.

“This year our strength is going to be our experience,” Dent said. “We have a lot of guys coming back that have been in the program for many years. Along with experience, I believe we are going to be able to hit the ball and score runs. We have to get better on defense. That was our Achilles’ heel last year. We are also stressing to our pitchers to throw strikes and challenge the hitters.”