Chiles rallies for win over Hoover

Chiles rallies for win over Hoover

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Chiles rallies for win over Hoover

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Chiles High’s Chipper Andzel had gone without a hit all night, but he decided to record his first in walk-off fashion to defeat visiting Hoover High, 9-8.

The Timberwolves entered the bottom of the seventh inning down 8-7, but after a rally to load the bases Kyle Taddeo’s sacrifice fly drove in the tying run. Andzel then grounded a ball to the left side of the infield and beat the throw to first with a head-first slide to drive in the winning run.

“I’m just so proud of the energy my guys came out and played with tonight,” Chiles coach Dick Steed said. “I’ve been waiting to see that from them all year, and they chose a perfect time to bring it out. We pretty much trailed the whole game.”

Hoover High – out of Birmingham, Ala. – visited Chiles in the middle of a three-day, four-game stint in north Florida. The Bucs lost to Lincoln on Thursday night and then to North Florida Christian (7-4) earlier Friday before facing Chiles.

Hoover next plays at Wakulla today.

The brutal road schedule didn’t seem to faze the Hoover players, who raced to an early lead against Chiles by scoring four runs in the first. The Bucs swung the bats well throughout the entire game, but they just couldn’t put the Timberwolves away.

“Hoover is a great team with a lot of history and they showed that tonight,” Steed said. “That’s why we’re so happy to come away with this win tonight.”

Chiles’ shortstop, Tanner Elsbernd had a huge night for the Timberwolves, going 2 for 4 with a two-run triple and a three-run homer in back-to-back innings.

“He came up huge for us tonight,” Steed said. “When you’re down early like we were tonight, you can only hope that a guy will come through with a big-time play, and Tanner gave us two of those. Can’t say enough about how my guys responded. Now we just need to continue to play with that kind of energy through the season.”

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