Tigers display power in rivalry baseball win over Bulldogs

Published 1:00 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

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Straughn hit three home runs en route to a season sweep of its cross-county rival with an 8-5 win at Andalusia on Thursday, March 14.

The Tigers improved to 8-6 on the season, while the Bulldogs fell to 5-6.

Saxby Radford led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. Clark Gay then reached on a fielder’s choice and scored the first run on a two-out RBI single by Taylor Sikes. After a walk to Layne Grantham, Mack McIntyre doubled the lead with an RBI single. Eli Guilford smacked a three-run homer to left and gave Straughn a 5-0 lead. Andalusia answered with a two-out rally in the home half. Landen Butler walked as a pitch hit Connor Ray. Noah Curry loaded the bases with a single, and Butler scored on a wild pitch. Riley Gay reached on an error, and Houston Smith kept the score 5-2 after one with a flyout.

Radford lined a one-out double in the visiting second as the Tigers received an RBI single from Matt Ashberry for a 6-2 lead. Sikes singled and put runners at the corners, but Kielan Davis ended the threat with a strikeout. The Bulldogs trimmed the deficit to three when Wesley Romero earned a walk and scored on an RBI double by Parker Adams. Smith retired the next two batters as the score remained 6-3 at the end of two innings.

After a scoreless top of the third, Andalusia drew closer in the bottom half. Ray reached on an error before Curry doubled and put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Ray scored on a wild pitch, and Cravey drove home Curry with an RBI single to right. Smith stranded a pair of runners when Romero popped into a double play and preserved Straughn’s 6-5 lead after three.

Ashberry widened the advantage to 7-5 with a two-run homer in the top of the fourth. Ryan Cobb took over on the mound and retired the side in order on just nine pitches.

Grantham continued the home run barrage with a leadoff solo blast in the visiting fifth. McIntyre walked and advanced to second on a groundout, but Davis stranded him there with a strikeout. Curry and Cravey took back-to-back walks but were unable to score. Cobb struck out the side and maintained the 8-5 lead after five.

Radford, Gay, and Ashberry each singled in the top of the sixth and filled the bases with nobody out. Butler escaped the threat unharmed and held the Tigers in check with a pop-up and double play. Adams earned a one-out single for the Bulldogs, but Cobb hung another zero on the board with an inning-ending strikeout.

Neither side put a base runner aboard in the seventh as the game came to an end.

Ashberry led Straughn with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate and scored a run with two RBIs. Radford was also 3-for-4 with a run scored. Gay and Sikes both finished 2-for-4, while Grantham was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Smith gave up five runs (three earned) on four hits in the first three innings. Cobb earned the win with four scoreless innings in relief and allowed one hit with two walks and seven strikeouts.

Curry went 2-for-3 with a run scored for Andalusia as Adams was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Cravey finished 1-for-3 with an RBI. Davis threw five innings with eight runs on 11 hits along with two walks and five strikeouts. Butler had two scoreless frames on the mound.

Both teams begin their area schedules with road contests next week. Straughn travels to Monroe County (2-6) for a doubleheader on Monday, March 18. Andalusia heads to Slocomb (5-8) on Tuesday, March 19.