Tigers bat a lit­tle to late

The Covington News - - Front Page - BRYAN FAZIO Sports Ed­i­tor

The miss­ing in­gre­di­ent was fi­nally there for the Al­covy base­ball team. How­ever, the Tigers sta­ples were be­low their usual stan­dards as Al­covy fell 12-8 to North­gate on Fri­day night,

The miss­ing in­gre­di­ent was fi­nally there for the Al­covy base­ball team.

How­ever, the Tigers sta­ples were be­low their usual stan­dards as Al­covy fell 13-8 to North­gate on Fri­day night.

The 13 runs by the Vik­ings tied the most al­lowed this sea­son by Al­covy, which has had three shutouts.

The Tigers (7-7) have been strong de­fen­sively and on the pitch­ers mound in 2012, hold­ing two teams to just one run and al­low­ing more than nine runs only in the two games they gave up 13.

In its pre­vi­ous four games Al­covy has tal­lied just one run in each of its first three and two runs in a 5-2 loss to Ola.

The Tigers’ bats ex­ploded Fri­day, as Al­covy tal­lied 12 hits.

“I told the kids this, ‘If you find a way to hit the ball the way you did tonight ev­ery game, you’ll be in the state play­offs,’” Al­covy coach Casey Bates said.

The hits, how­ever, couldn’t help Al­covy over­come a strong start by North­gate (6-6).

The Vik­ings scored six runs in the first in­ning off of hits, er­rors, walks and a home run.

“You spot some­body six points in the first, and you have your work cut out for you,” Bates said.

North­gate man­aged four more runs in the fourth and three in the fifth but by then it was too big of a lead for Al­covy to over­come.

“You take away that first in­ning and we prob­a­bly win that ball game,” Bates said.

Dal­ton Re­gan started the game, and ran into mis­for­tune in the first in­ning.

“It was just one of those base­ball mo­ments in the first in­ning,” Bates said. “Ev­ery­thing hap­pened for them in the first in­ning and noth­ing hap­pened for us in the first in­ning.”

Al­covy, which has strug­gled hit­ting the ball prior to Fri­day, shrugged off that strug­gle early.

Bowen Braswell, the Tigers’ first bat­ter of the game, con­nected on a home run to get the of­fense started.

Al­covy con­tin­ued to get hits here and there, scor­ing an­other run in the third, be­fore ex­plod­ing of­fen­sively in the fourth.

Af­ter North­gate made it a 10-run game in the top of the fourth, Al­covy an­swered with six runs in the bot­tom.

“For some rea­son tonight we didn’t pitch well and didn’t play good de­fense but our hit­ters came around and we started hit­ting the ball,” Bates said. “We scored eight runs, if we score eight runs ev­ery ball game we’re go­ing to be in the state play­offs.”

One of the rea­sons Al­covy may have had an eas­ier

time hit­ting Fri­day could be due to Thurs­day.

As the Tigers’ came out for prac­tice Bates told them they wouldn’t be work­ing on any­thing new that day but in­stead just to let loose.

The team held a coaches-pitch scrim­mage where the goal was just to hit the ball.

The proof of the re­laxed prac­tice came on the first pitch as Braswell hit his sec­ond home run in as many days.

The first was a grand slam that ended Thurs- day’s in­tra-squad scrim­mage.

“We came out yes­ter­day and I told them just to have fun in prac­tice,” Bates said. “I said, ‘ Let’s see how far you can hit it. Ev­ery time you come up here just see how far you can hit it.’

“High school kids some­times when they’re not hit­ting get down on them­selves and think too much.”

Bates’ un­ortho­dox prac­tice, which he does usu­ally once a year, seemed to cure the Tigers of over think­ing while at the plate.

There is just six subre­gion games left for the trend to con­tinue as Al­covy is look­ing to re­main in the top four.

It cur­rently sits third, one game be­hind Ola, and one game ahead of Jones County.

The Tigers travel to Grif­fin on Wed­nes­day.

“If we get 12 hits and eight runs from here on out we’ll be in the state play­offs,” Bates said. “We have to find a way to do that and give our pitch­ers some cush­ion.”

Along with scor­ing more runs than the other team, added hits will also help ease his pitch­ers.

“Our pitch­ers hav­ing to go out there, it’s stress on ev­ery­thing they pitch,” Bates said. “If we give them eight runs, one hit isn’t go­ing to hurt them.”

Bryan Fazio/ The Cov­ing­ton News

Jake Jones swings to­ward one of Al­covy’s 12 hits in its 13-8 loss to North­gate on Fri­day night. The Tigers gave up six runs in the first in­ning, and couldn’t re­cover.

Bryan Fazio/ The Cov­ing­ton News

An Al­covy base run­ner breaks up a dou­ble play dur­ing Fri­day’s 13- 8 loss to North­gate.

Bryan Fazio/ The Cov­ing­ton News

Al­covy's Dar­ius Hill throws a pitch as a North­gate baserun­ner leads off dur­ing Fri­day night's game.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.