By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
From an outsider’s point-of-view, it wasn’t looking too good for coach Jeff Sudduth’s Addison squad six games into the baseball season.
The Bulldogs had started out 0-3 en route to a tepid 2-4 start and were still searching for a winning formula.
Luckily for Suddith, though, his team found it and hasn’t looked back since.
Follwing a 4-3 loss to Winston County on March 7, Addison (20-6) has reeled off 18 victories in their last 20 games, including a once 14-game winning streak and four wins in its first five playoff games against Donoho and Ragland.
“We are playing our best baseball now,” Sudduth said of his team. “The senior leadership has been really good. There’s a lot of team unity here.”
After storming through Class 1A, Area 11 play with a perfect record and claiming a runner-up finish in the Winston County baseball tournament, Sudduth knew his team was poised for a deep run.
The Bulldogs remain the last local team standing in this year’s rendition of the playoffs, riding the solid play of Levi Tyree, Rhett York and Jake Seymore.
Sophomore pitcher John Everett has also played a key cog in Addison’s run through the postseason.
“Our pitchers have been pretty good for us,” Sudduth said. “They are good with what they know how to do. They throw strikes.”
They’ve certainly shown out thus far, as the Bulldogs four playoff victories have all been shutouts.
Everett picked up two of those in wins over Donoho and Ragland, while Tyree was good for one as well.
As for the offense, it’s been on fire, too.
In its last five games, Addison has scored 38 runs, which is good for an average of 7.6 per game.
“We have a little bit of power in our lineup this year,” Sudduth said. “But really, we are more of a station to station, base hit kind of team. We move runners over and score from there. We have hit a few more home runs this year, though.”
The battle-tested Bulldogs won’t have long to celebrate, however, as they prepare for tough, home series against a very talented Cedar Bluff squad that’s riddled with experienced seniors.
“They’ve got a really good pitching staff,” Sudduth said. “Lots of seniors. It will be tough but we are excited. Both our coaches and players are glad that it’s at home. We had to go to Ragland last week, and it was tiring.”
Regardless of this weekend’s outcome, it’s been quite a season and ride for Sudduth, who’s thankful for being able to coach his seniors Tyree, York, Seymore and Issac Horton.
“I think they are terrific,” he said. “They are and have been willing to do whatever it takes to win. Whether it’s a position change or bunting a runner over, they’re always ready to do what needs to be done.”
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at email@example.com.