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Tigers pitching shuts down Lamar County

COVINGTON -- Alcovy pitchers Jake Jones and Dalton Reagin combined for 12 strikeouts and three hits as the Tigers easily beat Lamar County 10-1 on Monday.

Jones started the game and pitched four innings, fanning six batters while giving up one walk and two hits. Reagin finished the final three innings also striking out six batters while walking two and allowing one hit.

"We had them on a 75-pitch count because they're going to throw again on Saturday," Alcovy head coach Casey Bates said. "They both threw 65 pitches, which is good."

While the Tigers' (9-4 overall, 5-1 in Region 2-AAAAAA) defense kept the Lamar County (10-1, 5-1 Region 4-AA) bats quiet, the Alcovy bats were making a lot of noise with 15 hits.

Pacing the Tigers with two hits each were Tristan Payne, Nathan Purcell, Joaquin Ross, Marcus Williams and Jones. Jones also had the only extra-base hit with a double in the sixth inning.

"Our guys had 15 hits and swung the bats well," Bates said. "We can swing the bats against anybody. It's just one of those things if we can put it all together at the same time."

After a quiet first inning, the Tigers seemed to gain confidence and their bats started converting in the second inning aided by three Trojans errors.

Ross plated a run and Reagin hit a two-run single to put Alcovy up 3-0 before a two-out error allowed Payne and Reagin to cross the plate. Jones made it 6-0 on a Josh Beddington single before Lamar County got the final out.

Even with a six-run lead, Bates was not about to put the Tigers in cruise control. It became apparent that it was the right decicision as the Trojans had an opportunity to close the gap in the top of the fourth with the bases loaded and one out.

But following a Jones strikeout for the second out, Beddington, who was behind the plate, threw the runner out at first to end the inning and the threat.

"We were up 6-0, but we're still going to steal guys and bunt them over," Bates said. "In baseball, high school especially, you never know when there's going to be a 10-run inning. You don't see it in college very often, but in high school it can happen just like that. But I can say that I'm confident when our pitchers are throwing strikes that we're going to be very successful."

Lamar County broke up the shutout in the fifth inning, but Alcovy responded in the home half of the inning with a run of its own as Purcell scored on a double steal. The Tigers added two more runs to their tally in the sixth.

"We pitched good, played pretty good defense and we hit the ball good," Bates said. "If we do that, with the type of kids we have, we'll win a lot of ball games."