Bulldogs coach Chad Young said prior to Wednesday’s practice that the Warriors appear to be solid in all aspects of the game. In a playoff win over Section last Friday, Westbrook Christian “had two hits and 11 strikeouts but they won 3-2 so they can find a way to win .The game before that (an 8-3 win) they had 10 or 11 hits,” he said. “I think they try to manufacture runs sometimes and then sometimes they can score a lot.”
Young speculated that his Bulldogs and the Warriors would be have the same goal, to be the team that makes the fewest mistakes.
“We’re going to have to play real well which is what you’re supposed to have to do,” he said.
In the second round, the Bulldogs reaffirmed their Class 2A, area 12 championship by sweeping Area 12 runner-up Pleasant Valley 5-2 and 6-4 Friday. In Game 1, Pleasant Valley opened the scoring with a run in the top of the second inning. Ranburne took the lead in the home half of the third with two runs. Mark David Smith singled then scored when Jared Edwards doubled. Clayton Young’s base hit plated Edwards. Ahead 2-1, the Bulldogs never relinquished the lead.
Blake Young led of Ranburne’s fourth inning with a walk. Dylan Wiggins hit into a fielder’s choice then Kyle Lovvorn smashed a home run, his first of the season, to left field. The Raiders got a run in the fifth to make it 4-2 Ranburne’s way.
Ranburne added an insurance run in the sixth. Brayden Wilson singled and moved to second base on Wiggins’ sacrifice bunt. Lovvorn walked then, with two out, Bradley Gibbs walked and Edwards walked to force Wilson home.
Edwards gave up four hits, three walks and two earned runs in seven innings of work. He struck out five. At the plate, Edwards helped himself with two hits in two official at-bats and two walks. He drove in one run and scored once. Bradley Gibbs was 2-for-3.
Junior Spencer Gibbs struck out three and walked two in going the distance in the nightcap. Gibbs allowed three earned runs. This time Ranburne batted as the visiting team and got on the scoreboard first with three runs in the second inning. Clayton Young led off the second with a home run to left center. Blake Young lined a single then Wilson homered to right center.
The Bulldogs added a run in the third. Smith’s base hit started the inning and Bradley Gibbs moved him to second with a bunt. Edwards was hit by a pitch then Clayton Young’s single scored Smith.
Ahead 4-2 after four innings, Ranburne got the two runs that proved to be the difference in the game in the fifth. Leading off the inning, Bradley Gibbs was hit by a pitch. Edwards singled and a wild pitch moved Gibbs to third and Edwards to second. With one out, Gibbs scored on Blake Young’s ground out and Edwards scored from third on the play when the Raiders left home plate unattended. The Raiders got solo runs in the fifth and sixth.
Clayton Young was 3-for-4. Edwards and Spencer Gibbs each had two hits in three trips.