Bulldogs look to topple Titans

Published 11:41 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2009

By Jeremy D. Smith


SWEET WATER — Holy Spirit coach Greg Kosloff was on hand Saturday to watch the Bulldogs torch Maplesville for 20 runs in two innings. Wisely, Sweet Water head coach Kevin Byrd quickly pulled his starters in an effort to prevent the Titans’ top man from getting too much of a sneak peek of his second-round opponent.

Email newsletter signup

“I’m very impressed with the way they approach at the plate,” Kosloff said. “They swing the bats very well.”

Byrd pulls no punches when he looks at the task ahead of his 15-11 Bulldogs.

“I’ve heard a lot about them in 1A,” Byrd said of the 20-5 Titans. “I know they swing the bat extremely well and they hit with a lot of power. It’s a team that has played together for a long time and their chemistry is good.”

The Bulldogs advanced over Maplesville in the opening round despite a 9-2 game one loss. Over the next 12 innings of play, SWHS outpaced the Red Devils 27-3 behind the pitching efforts of Chris Landrum and Sage Nelson. That tandem figures to play a role in the second-round series.

“(Nelson) had great off-speed stuff,” Kosloff commented on the only Sweet Water pitcher he has seen this season. “He kept Maplesville off balance.”

Nelson, a senior who limited the Red Devils to one hit over five innings of work, projects as the Bulldogs’ game three starter. However, he could pitch in one of Friday night’s games should Byrd decide to mix up the rotation.

“We’re going to kind of see how it goes this week in practice,” Byrd said of his potential starting rotation; a group that also includes Linc Luker.

Holy Spirit will counter with senior Chris Davis. Game two will see either Devin Young or Rick Tyler, both juniors, toe the rubber.

“We’ll have to be intense for sure,” Byrd said. “We’ll have to shut down what Holy Spirit does best and do what we do best.”