Al­covy up­sets Ea­gles on the di­a­mond, 8-5

Thomas gets two-run hit to lead Tigers

The Covington News - - Sports - By Brian Harper

COV­ING­TON — Af­ter Mother Na­ture post­poned the first meet­ing be­tween the Al­covy and East­side High base­ball clubs, she would have noth­ing to do with Tues­day’s thrilling ex­tra in­ning bat­tle be­tween the two ri­val schools.

In a game that took eight in­nings to de­cide a win­ner, it would be the Tigers (1-3 over­all, 1-2 Re­gion 8-AAAA South) who would leave with brag­ging rights, win­ning 8-5.

“It feels great,” said Al­covy head coach Joe Mob­ley af­ter the vic­tory. “It’s al­ways nice to beat your home­town team, es­pe­cially one like East­side who is al­ready es­tab­lished.”

In the first in­ning the Ea­gles (1-5) jumped out to an early 20 lead af­ter a two-run sin­gle off the bat of Kyle Du­rand. Pitch­ing with a lead was East­side sopho­more Cameron Daven­port, who threw three score­less in­nings while giv­ing up just two hits.

Threat­en­ing to score soon af­ter­wards were the Tigers, who had run­ners on sec­ond and third af­ter hits from Cody Bala and Tay­lor Jack­son. But a sac­ri­fice fly that would have scored Bala was in­stead called out af­ter the um­pire ruled he tagged up too early.

With the lead in hand and the Ea­gles bat­ting in the bot­tom of the third, East­side grabbed two more runs on an­other two-run hit by Du­rand, this time a dou­ble. It was fol­lowed with a sac fly by Hunter Parker, scor­ing Rashad Ben­ton.

Now lead­ing 5-0 af­ter three in­nings, the Ea­gles per­haps re­laxed a bit too much, as the Al­covy bats came to life. Re­ceiv­ing three straight sin­gles from Jimmy In­gram, Cole Log­gins and sopho­more start­ing pitcher Beau Thomas, the Tigers soon found them­selves with the bases loaded and their rally caps on full dis­play.

El­lis Fan­ning smacked a two-run dou­ble to make it 5-2. Jack­son fol­lowed with a clutch two-run dou­ble of his own, bring­ing the game to within one run head­ing into the fifth in­ning.

Con­tin­u­ing to have a solid out­ing while never let­ting the score­board af­fect his game, Thomas pitched one more score­less in­ning be­fore Mob­ley handed the reigns to Jack­son in search of a win. Hop­ing Jack­son could hold off the Ea­gles long enough for his team to gather a cou­ple more runs was a prayer an­swered by Al­covy in the top of the sev­enth.

In their last chance at a come-from-be­hind win, the Tigers had run­ners on sec­ond and third af­ter East­side’s Daniel Digby plunked con­sec­u­tive bat­ters, re­ceiv­ing a balk from the um­pire along the way. With just two outs re­main­ing, Al­covy re­ceived an early Christ­mas gift af­ter a ground ball to short­stop Jake Cas­teel was thrown to first base in­stead of home, al­low­ing the Tigers to tie the game, 5-5.

Af­ter hold­ing the Ea­gles score­les and with the mo­men­tum change head­ing into the eighth in­ning, the Tigers con­tin­ued to rally as they had run­ners on first and sec­ond af­ter a walk and an er­ror by Sam John­son. Fit­ting to the way he played the game, it was Thomas who de­liv­ered what turned out to be the game-win­ning hit that scored two runs.

“It feels fan­tas­tic,” said Fan­ning, who con­trib­uted to the win with an eighth-in­ning RBI sin­gle. “(It) gives us a lot of con­fi­dence head­ing into re­gion play. We knew we were a lot bet­ter then we have been play­ing.”

MOB­LEY

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