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Andale takes hard-fought sweep

Published May 5 at 11:48 p.m. | Last updated May 5 at 11:49 p.m.

When Andale’s first two batters reached base in the first inning Monday afternoon against Augusta ace Garrett Hutson, Indians coach Chase Boyd quickly recognized the value of the opportunity.

“With those types of pitchers, we knew we needed to score early, and then we had a chance,” Boyd said.

With runners at first and third, Boyd called for a delayed double steal. Hutson wheeled toward second and threw out Harrison Denk, but Clayton Milford sprinted home for a 1-0 lead.

One run was gold for Andale right-hander Tyler Jones. The Wichita State signee struck out 10 in six innings and combined with Milford on a two-hitter as the Indians won the doubleheader opener. Andale edged Augusta 6-5 in the nightcap to complete an unbeaten run through Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail Division IV.

Jones, a senior, and Hutson, a junior committed to Oklahoma State, treated spectators to a 1-hour, 27-minute duel by posting similar numbers. Jones struck out Augusta’s first seven batters and eight of the first nine. Like Hutson, he allowed two singles and a walk before Milford pitched the seventh for the save.

“I just felt good today,” said Jones, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in 36 1/3 innings this season. “My arm felt good and loose. My command was good, and I got ahead a lot, especially to key guys.”

Andale (16-2, 10-0) mustered just two infield hits off Hutson, who struck out eight. But the leadoff chopper by Milford to start the bottom of the first proved to be damaging.

Milford ended up at second when Augusta second baseman Gavin Hutson threw wildly to first. Denk followed with a bunt that Hutson cleanly fielded between the mound and third. Hutson looked toward third, but lost his balance as he spun toward first, giving Andale runners at the corners.

“I told our guys we might have been an error and a slip away from winning that one,” Augusta coach Doug Jefferson said. “We just made too many mistakes. We had more errors than they did, and that’s what cost us.”

Jones, who threw 52 strikes in 77 pitches, withstood a serious threat by Augusta (9-7, 5-5) in the sixth. Orioles catcher Ben Madison broke up Jones’ perfect game with a one-out single near the right-field line. Madison was erased on a fielder’s choice, but Connor Hurst singled and Mason Hiser walked to load the bases with two outs.

Jones completed his outing by retiring Hutson on a sinking liner to left. Andale left fielder Chandler Post went to his knees to make the catch and preserve the lead.

“Scoring in the first was big,” Jones said. “Pitching with any kind of lead helps, especially against a pitcher like Garrett, when you know you’re not going to score a whole lot.”

Runs were more plentiful in the second game, as Andale took advantage of four Augusta errors in the first three innings to build a 6-0 lead. Junior pitcher Wade Winter helped himself with a two-run single in the third.

Augusta got its first runs in the fourth on Madison’s single and Dustyn McEachern’s sacrifice fly. The Orioles added three runs on six hits in the fifth off reliever Sander Hanson to cut their deficit to 6-5, but Hanson retired McEachern on a fly ball to end the threat.

Milford earned his second save of the night with a scoreless seventh.

“We couldn’t get over that 1-0 loss and we took that into the second game with us,” said Jefferson, whose team finished with six errors in the nightcap. “We finally got some stuff going, but we dug ourselves too big of a hole to get back out.”

Andale 1, Augusta 0

Augusta 00000000 2 2
Andale100000x1 2 1

W – Jones. L – Hutson. Sv—Milford

Andale 6, Augusta 5

Augusta 00023005 8 6
Andale303000x6 4 2

W – Winter. L – Hiser. Sv—Milford