MONTGOMERY -- Andalusia rebounded from a 6-3 loss to Hokes Bluff in game one of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series Tuesday night by sweeping the Eagles 2-1 and 10-6 at Riverwalk Stadium as the Bulldogs captured the school’s first-ever state baseball title.
The loss Tuesday at Paterson Field snapped a 19-game winning streak. Coach Tyler Dent’s Bulldogs (30-5) started a new streak in game two, however, senior Ethan Wilson, the series MVP, tossing a three-hitter in the 2-1 win. Game three, however, became a matter of timely hitting.
Tied at 3-3 in the top of the fourth inning, Gil Morgan’s double drove in the go-ahead run and Hogan Nichols singled in a run two came across thanks to wild pitches as the Bulldogs took a 7-3 lead.
Coach Mike Robertson’s Eagles (28-8) cut the lead to 7-6 with three unconventional runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth -- coming on a bases-loaded walk to Caleb McGinnis, a hit-by-pitch by Peyton Moore and a sacrifice fly by Dylan Teague.
Andalusia answered with a run in the sixth thanks to Nichols’ RBI single, and scored two in the seventh when Garrett Davis drilled a single to plate two runs.
Starting pitcher Chip Morgan (3-1) pitched 4 1/3 innings to get the win with his brother Gill Morgan shutting out Hokes Bluff over the final 2 2/3 innings to notch the save. Weston Ball (1-1) got the loss in relief.
The Eagles’ trip to the finals was the first since winning six state crowns in a row from 2003-08.
Game 2: Andalusia 2, Hokes Bluff 1
Pitchers Ethan Wilson of Andalusia and Payton Lemons of Hokes Bluff battled it out in game two of the AHSAA Class 4A State Baseball Championship Series Wednesday afternoon to set up the third game of the best 2-of-3 series.
Wilson (12-0), a senior left-hander, tossed a complete-game three-hitter to notch the win. He walked three and struck out six -- battling back from an ankle injury in the third inning when he accidentally stepped on the catcher’s mask while covering behind the plate on a play. He had his ankle taped, however, came back in with his ankle taped tightly and got out of a jam. He got stronger in the late innings to close out with the complete-game win.
Lemons pitched six innings, allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Andalusia (29-5), which had a 19-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night in a 6-3 lost to the Eagles (28-7) in game one at Paterson Field, posted both runs in the top of the third. Gil Morgan started the rally getting hit by a pitch. Wilson grounded into a force play with Morgan making the second out at second base. Wilson stole second, however, and scored on Garrett Davis’ double down the left field line. Davis then scored on on a wild pitch for what turned out to be the winning run.
Hokes Bluff right fielder Jace Stewart turned in the defensive gem of the game in the bottom of the fourth when he threw out Will Clark at the plate trying to score on a single by J.W. Jones. Catcher Houston Edwards caught the ball just up the line and tagged Clark as he slide into home.