Bulldogs rout Bobcats for first win of season

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Andalusia took control early with a seven-run second inning and ran away for an 11-3 win at Opp in a varsity baseball matchup of two winless teams on Friday, Feb. 23.

The Bulldogs moved to 1-3 on the season, while the Bobcats dropped to 0-4 for the year.

Michael O’Brien singled with one out and stole second. O’Brien advanced to third on a groundout before Kielan Davis walked and put runners at the corners. Davis was picked off, but O’Brien scored for an early 1-0 lead. Davis retired the side in order on just 10 pitches and kept the game 1-0 after one.

Riley Cravey opened the second with a walk, and Mason Meeks reached on an error. Landen Butler cashed in both Cravey and courtesy runner Noah Curry with a two-run RBI double and extended the lead to 3-0. After a pitch hit Will Dalton, Wesley Romero lifted a sacrifice fly and scored Butler. Davis walked with the bases loaded and plated Dalton for a 5-0 margin. Cravey gave Andalusia a 7-0 cushion with a two-out RBI double that plated Parker Adams and Connor Ray. Davis hustled home on a passed ball for the final run of the inning. Porter Nelson reached on a miscue, but Davis held Opp scoreless once again and left the score 8-0 with two innings complete.

O’Brien drove home Dalton with an RBI single for the ninth run in the top of the third. Ray followed with a groundout and brought in Romero. Will Jackson started the bottom half with an infield single but was stranded at first and kept the game 10-0 after three.

Cash Harrell quickly set the Bulldogs down in the visiting fourth. Nolan Brown led off the home half with a single, and Nelson Hall walked. Colby Ballard reached on an error and loaded the bases with nobody out. Nelson put the Bobcats on the board with an RBI single through the left side. Davis eluded further trouble with two strikeouts and kept the score at 10-1 after four innings.

Romero singled and advanced to second on a passed ball in the fifth. Harrell ended the threat and kept Andalusia off the board with a pair of groundouts. Riley Day took a free pass before Grady Patterson and Brown followed with back-to-back singles. Hall slashed an RBI single into right and drove home Day with the second run. Nelson rolled into a force play for the second out, but Patterson scored and drew the Bobcats within 10-3 at the end of five.

Each side mustered a single in the sixth, but neither scored as the action moved to the seventh. The Bulldogs put together a two-out rally in the top half of the final frame started by a walk to Adams. O’Brien then singled up the middle, and Adams pushed the lead to 11-3. Brown recorded a one-out double for the Bobcats and took third on a fly out. O’Brien struck out Ballard looking and ended the game.

O’Brien finished 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI for Andalusia. Cravey was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, while Butler went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. Davis threw five innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts for the win.

Brown was 3-for-4 for Opp with a run scored. Nelson had a 1-for-3 showing with two RBIs. Patterson allowed eight runs (two earned) on three hits and struck out in 1 2/3 innings of work.

The Bobcats will travel to Brewton and face T.R. Miller on Thursday, Feb. 29, at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs are scheduled to host Thomasville and Paxton on Friday, March 1, with games at 3 and 7 p.m.