JESSUP - The Alcovy Tigers are one game away from the Elite Eight.
After falling 10-0 to No. 7 Wayne County in Game 1, Alcovy (22-9) avoided elimination with a 7-3 victory in Game 2. The two squads will meet today in the deciding game at 4 p.m.
"Like I've said before, any time you get to play in a Game 3, it's great for your team. It means you have a chance to advance," Alcovy coach Casey Bates said. "We're excited right now, but we know we've got a lot of work to do tomorrow."
Junior pitcher Beau Thomas kept the Tigers' season alive by pitching a gem in Game 2, limiting the Yellow Jackets (22-8) to just six hits.
"Beau Thomas was outstanding for us in the second game," Bates said. "He gave us exactly what we needed on the mound."
Unlike the opening game, Alcovy's offense provided Thomas with an early lead thanks to some timely hitting.
Junior Travis Jackson smacked a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the first, giving the Tigers their first lead in the series at 2-0.
In the bottom of the second, Ross Roberts added another two-run double, pushing the Tigers out to a 4-0 advantage.
"Being able to get the lead early in Game 2 was a big key for us," Bates said. "We hadn't done anything up to that point. They came out and thumped us pretty good in the first game. We had to do something or we were going to be in trouble."
Thomas took over from there for the Tigers, tossing the complete game to pick up the victory.
Wayne County closed its deficit to 4-2 and 6-3, but each time Alcovy responded with more insurance on the scoreboard.
In the opener, Wayne County pitcher Jared Harvey tossed a three-hit shutout.
The Tigers threatened in the top of the first when Michael Adventurato led off with a single and Thomas reached on an error. But Harvey worked out of the jam and cruised the rest of the way.
Alcovy is making its first appearance in the state baseball playoffs.