Alcovy bested by Wayne County

JESUP - Errors, lack of hitting and one tremendous Yellow Jackets pitcher kept Alcovy from reaching the Class AAAA Elite Eight with a five-inning 11-1 loss to Wayne County in the final game of a best-of-three series in the second round of the baseball playoffs on Thursday.

Getting the win pitching all five innings for Wayne County was Jared Harvey, who also threw five innings in game one, where be blanked Alcovy 10-0 in five innings.

"That kid might be one of the best true pitchers in Georgia. He's not one of those type pitchers that's going to get drafted because he throws hard," said Alcovy coach Casey Bates.

"He knows how to pitch, throws it in and out, he throws it up and down, he mixes his speed, he throws three pitches for strikes and makes you go up there and guess, which is not good for a high school hitter to do."

The Tigers only had six hits including a solo home run by Bryan Daniel in the fourth inning.

Michael Avenurato paced Alcovy with two hits.

Also getting a hit for the Tigers were Taylor Jackson, Bowen Braswell and Alex Cooper.

"It's one of those things where that pitcher did his job. He's not an overpowering pitcher, he's not going to blow it by you, but he's got three pitches he can throw for strikes at any time in the count. He threw several 3-1 and 3-0 curve balls. He threw a couple of 3-0 change-ups and I'm like 'wow, that kid knows how to pitch,'" Bates said.

With two outs in the top of the first inning, the Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead when sophomore Casey Kicklighter hit his 10th home run of the season, breaking a 23-year record for most home runs in a single season.

Wayne County added five more runs to its tally in the second inning.

Helping the Yellow Jackets stay on offense were two errors. Because of the inning-extending errors Adrian Palmer was able to hit a base-clearing double with bases loaded before Kicklighter his home run No. 11 for two more runs.

An error in the third inning also helped generate another run allowing Colby Dent to plate two runners with a two-out double.

"They put them down as errors but some of them really weren't. The ball was hit between the third baseman and the short stop. We'd go over there and back hand them but then weren't able to throw them out," Bates added. "There was another one where Shaun (Carter) dove for it and caught it, then got up and got ready to throw it and the ball slipped out of his hand."

Wayne County made it 9-0 in the fourth before getting their final two runs in the fifth.

The Tigers had a chance to extend the game after falling to 11-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

With two outs and two runners on base, Ross Roberts almost had a home run but the ball fell about two-feet short into the outfielder's glove to end the game.

"Our kids don't quit. That's one thing I told them. No matter what the situation is, don't quit until the last out is made. You couldn't ask for anything better then have two runners on and Ross hit one to the deepest part of the park and it's two feet from being a home run. They didn't quit until the last out and that's what you have to do to be successful," Bates said.

"Sometimes it doesn't fall in your favor, but as I told the kids, when the playoffs start there's 32 teams and in the very end there's going to be one that's going to be happy and everyone else is going to be with their heads down. I told them they have no reason to have their heads down. You just got beat by a pitcher that pretty much did his job."