ANDALUSIA CHASING RING: Battle of the Bulldogs in Class 4A round 3

Published 12:05 am Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Andalusia Bulldogs (24-4) will host the Holtville Bulldogs (25-6) on Friday in the third round of the Class 4A state playoffs at Andalusia High School.

“We are coming off of a huge second round win,” Andalusia head coach Tyler Dent said. “Here in the third round it doesn’t get any easier. Holtville is a very good team and we will have our hands full on Friday.”

Andalusia advanced to the third round after sweeping Monroe County at home in round one and then sweeping Trinity on the road in round two.

Through four playoff games, Andalusia has out scored their opponents 51-1.

“This week practice has been great,” Dent said. “It’s been great for the past four or five months. These kids come to work everyday and do what they need to do to get better. We just want to keep doing the things that have gotten us to this point. The key to this series is just like any other series. We need our pitchers to throw strikes and pound the zone. Fielders have to make the routine plays and we have to have timely hits. We did that last week and we were successful.”

Dent said that his players are excited for the upcoming series, but are capable of controlling their emotions.

“Like they should be, this team is fired up,” Dent said. “The thing about these kids is that they don’t get too high and they don’t get too low. They are very even keeled. That says a lot about them that they are capable of keeping those emotions in check.”

Holtville reached the third round after sweeping Handley in the first round and then winning two-of-three against Oak Grove in round two.

In five playoff games, Holtville has out scored their opponents 34-12.

“They are a solid team,” Dent said. “They have two good pitchers and their 1-4 batters can really swing the bat, from what I’ve been told, and their 5-9 batters are really tough outs. This is going to be a good series.”

Game one of the best of three series will begin at 5 p.m., at Andalusia High School.

Game two is scheduled for 7 p.m.

If necessary, game three will be played at noon on Saturday.

“I really want to encourage the community to come out see what we put on the field Friday,” Dent said. “Weather wise, it’s going to be a great day for baseball.”