Bulldogs claim area title with win over Dale County

Published 11:00 am Friday, April 12, 2024

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Andalusia scored four runs in the second and claimed the 4A Area 3 championship with a 5-2 win against Dale County at home on Tuesday, April 9.

The Bulldogs improved to 12-8 overall and 4-1 in 4A Area 3 as head coach Kevin Madden earned his 200th career win. The Warriors fell to 14-8 and 2-3 in 4A Area 3.

Riley Cravey began the game on the mound and worked around a one-out error in the top of the first. Michael O’Brien was hit by a pitch in the bottom half, but Kade Smith also hung a zero and sent the game to the second.

Gage Cain reached on a miscue for Dale County in the visiting second but was picked off for the third out. Cravey led off the home portion with a single to left. Courtesy runner Cade Cassady stole second and scored the first run on an RBI double from Will Dalton. Connor Ray was then hit by a pitch, and Mason Meeks walked to load the bases with no outs. Kielan Davis gave Andalusia a 3-0 lead with a two-run double and drove home Dalton and Ray. Parker Adams singled and set up an RBI single by O’Brien for a 4-0 lead. Aiden Cain took over on the mound and ended the threat with a strikeout and groundout.

Aden Gordon hit a one-out double in the top of the third. Smith cut the deficit to 4-1 with a double of his own before Maddox Weed was hit by a pitch. Cravey held the Warriors in check and struck out Cain to end the threat. Cravey opened the bottom half with a double to right and moved to third on a groundout. The Bulldogs received an RBI single from Meeks who brought home Cassady for a 5-1 lead after three innings.

Dale County loaded the bases in the fourth but was unable to score. Adams lined a leadoff double for Andalusia in its half of the frame and stole third. Cain kept Andalusia off the board and kept the score 5-1 with four innings completed.

Davis went to the mound as Weed started the fifth with a single. After Weed took second on a groundout, Gavin Fultz delivered an RBI single and made the score 5-2. Cravey had a one-out single in the bottom half, but a double play capped the frame.

The Warriors attempted to rally in the visiting sixth behind a pair of walks, but Weed struck out and thwarted the threat. Ray led off the bottom half with a single for the Bulldogs but was caught stealing second. Cain earned a strikeout before Weed ended the inning with a groundout.

Cravey retired the side on 17 pitches in the top of the seventh and earned the win and save. He allowed one earned run on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Davis gave up one unearned run on two hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Cravey paced Andalusia with a 3-for-3 showing at the plate, while Adams went 2-for-3. O’Brien, Dalton, Ray, Meeks, and Davis each added a hit. Fultz was 2-for-4 with an RBI for Dale County.

Andalusia will face Thomasville and Sweet Water on Saturday, April 13, beginning at noon in Thomasville.