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Andalusia misses chance to beat Post 149

Bessemer Post 149 gave Andalusia TPost 80 every opportunity they could to keep from being eliminated in Friday’s second round of the American Legion Senior State Tournament.

But though Andalusia led through six of Friday’s nine innings it would be Bessemer who would advance with a 10-9 squeeze over Andalusia.

Andalusia headed into the ninth inning Friday morning with a 7-5 lead, needing only three out to advance to the third round. And they would eventually get those three outs, after Bessemer racked up five runs and took a 10-7 lead.

But Andalusia didn’t fret, and came out swinging to start off the bottom of the ninth. Daniel Wall got things started for Andalusia with a lead off double. Brock Kelley then moved Wall to second as he picked up a walk from closing Bessemer pitcher Dallas Rogers.

Cole Sightler kept the party going with a single to load the bases. At that point, Bessemer brought in Jake Elmore in relief for Rogers, who had gone one-and-a-third innings giving up no hits, no runs and two walks.

Andalusia welcomed Elmore with open arms after he lead off with a walk of his own to make it a 10-8 game. Chaz Maloy was then able to sacrifice fly to deep center field, which would score Kelly from third and make it a 10-9 game.

One out, two on, and down by one – what should they do?

The Idiots Guide to Baseball would say that you should put on the squeeze right about now, but Andalusia must not have ever read that book.

Michael Dutton then gets hit by a pitch to load the bases once more, as Michael Hattaway comes to the plate with one out and bases loaded. Apparently, Andalusia was under the belief that Elmore didn’t have enough to close them down, but while Hattaway was waiting for ball four to save the day, he struck out. And now, with the bases loaded and two outs, Andalusia decides to put on the squeeze. But it was too late, and Bessemer had no problem fielding the hard, bouncing bunt of Trevor Matthews to end the game.

With the win, Bessemer will move into Saturday’s third round, where they will face Athens in another elimination game.