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Alcovy pitching tames Panthers
Jackson, Braswell hit home runs in 11-1 Tigers' victory

Using a tidy pitching performance by junior Beau Thomas and home runs by shortstop Taylor Jackson and Bowen Braswell, Alcovy blew past the visting Forest Park Panthers 11-1 on Friday.

The win ups the Tigers' Region 4 AAAA record to 5-1 and their season mark to 10-2.

"Beau did a good job for us because he throws strikes and makes the other teams put the ball in play for our defense," Alcovy first-year head coach Casey Bates said. "He doesn't overpower hitters but has good control."

Thomas walked only one Forest Park batter while striking out six. He allowed only three singles with two of those coming in the third inning when the Panthers scored their only run. And that one run was due to some nifty base running by Forest Park's Keith Booker on a fielder's choice play by Alcovy.

Offensively, the Tigers wasted little time in asserting their superiority by scoring six in the opening inning. With a cool wind blowing out toward right field, Alcovy's second batter, the right-handed Jackson, cracked a fast ball from Forest Park's Darrius Jackson and saw it ride the wind over the fence for a solo home run.

Sparked by the big hit, the Tigers proceeded to bat through their entire lineup. Next up, centerfield Ross Roberts reached first on an error and stole second before third baseman Shawn Carter also reached via an error by Forest Park. Thomas was then hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Braswell drove in two runs with a fielder's choice by Forest Park's shortstop Kyle Nelson to give Alcovy a 3-0 lead. The Tigers added another one on a sacrifice fly from catcher Bryan Daniel that scored Thomas.

The final two runs of the first inning by Alcovy came when a single from second baseman Jimmy Ingram brought home Braswell and first baseman Alex Cooper, who had drawn a base on balls moments earlier.

Alcovy stretched its lead to 9-0 after two innings when the Tigers added three runs with two outs in the bottom of the second. Carter got things started with a single and then stole second before being plated by another single, this one by Thomas to further help his cause as the winning pitcher.

The final two runs came when Braswell hammered his home run over the left field fence, thus scoring Thomas and himself.

Forest Park changed pitchers after Alcovy's first batter in the bottom of the third, left fielder Michael Aventurado, ripped a line drive down the first base line for a double. The Panthers' new hurler, Justin Hendricks, had more success than his predecessor and held Alcovy to only one run in each of the two innings he pitched.

Aventurado scored in the bottom of the third when he was moved over to third on a sacrifice fly by Jackson and then home on a wild pitch by Hendricks.

The Tigers scored their final run in the bottom of the fourth, again with two outs, when Daniel reached second by hustling to first on a ground ball that caused a throwing error by Forest Park. The junior catcher scored the last run of the game when he was singled home by Cooper.

When Thomas put Forest Park down in order in the top of the fifth, the game was called due the 10-run rule after five innings.

The Tigers will play a double header Saturday against cross-town rival Newton High School.