COVINGTON - The Alcovy Tigers were able to take advantage of the few hits they had while Taylor Jackson and the defense kept Dutchtown off balance in their 3-0 win on Tuesday at Tiger Field.
"I told them from the get-go, 'guys you have to do two of three things well. You have to hit, play defense and pitch well.' If you do of those things well you're going to be successful," Alcovy coach Casey Bates said.
"We pitched good and we played defense and we got the hits when we needed to. We didn't hit the ball well, but we got them when we needed and the other two things fell into place. I'm proud of them and they're playing with a lot of confidence, which is a good thing."
The win puts Alcovy on the top of the region early in the season with a 4-0 record. It also has an overall record of 9-1.
Jackson did not overwhelm the Bulldogs (6-5, 2-1) hitters, only getting three strikeouts. But at the same time he made them earn what they got, allowing one free pass with a hit batsman while allowing six hits.
"Our defense knows that when he's pitching that they're going to have to play defense. We don't have any overpowering pitchers. But we have four or six guys that can go out there and make the other team beat you," Bates said.
Jackson had one inning where he gave up two hits. The other innings were limited to either one or no hits.
"Understand something: (Dutchtown) did hit the ball. They hit the ball hard several times. But, they hit them right to us," Bates said.
After a solid defensive performance in the top of the first, Jackson came up with a well-timed double to plate Michael Adventurato before Jackson scored to make it 2-0 on a Beau Thomas single in the bottom of the opening inning.
A lead-off double by catcher Bryan Daniel allowed courtesy runner Drew Parker to score on two ground outs.
Cody Bala moved Parker to third base allowing Jimmy Ingram's ground out to move him across the plate.
Daniel paced the team with two hits against Dutchtown's Mason Mills.
"We have to do a better job of hitting with runners in scoring position. We have some guys that with nobody on they're getting some hits," Bates said. "But with runners on they're struggling at the plate."
As a team, the Tigers finished with six hits.
"I wish we could beat everybody badly, but you get something out of those kind of games instead of when you beat somebody badly," Bates said. "Right now we're playing good defense, we're pitching good and we're hitting when we need to."
Manny Fils can be reached at email@example.com.