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Alcovy pitching shuts down Westlake

COVINGTON -- After missing the playoffs the past two years, Alcovy's baseball team took advantage of its return to sweep Westlake on Friday to make it the second round.

After winning a close first game 2-1, Alcovy (21-6) came back strong to run-rule the Lions (13-12-2) 13-1 in the final game of the series.

Alcovy pitcher Jake Jones gave up four hits and struck out 13 batters in the first game while Dalton Reagin, who also allowed four hits, fanned 10 batters in his win.

"Our pitchers is what is doing it for us right now and we score runs when we can," Alcovy head coach Casey Bates said.

Even though a few players were on the team that went back-to-back to the Elite Eight two years ago, this was their first experience playing in playoff game.

Jones, a sophomore back when the Tigers lost to Marist in the third round, was on the team but did not play. The previous year, the Tigers lost on the road to Wayne County in three games.

While those teams were talented, Bates feels that this team has more talent from to bottom. The difference is that those players had more experience playing together.

"The difference between this team and those teams is that they had played together for most of their lives," Bates said. "A lot of these kids now have never played together. We have eight seniors, a freshman, three of four sophomores and two or three juniors. That year we've had kids playing together since they were freshmen. This year we have some seniors that this is their first year playing varsity."

The Tigers are headed south for a doubleheader at Lowndes (19-8) on Wednesday for second-round action. The Vikings swept Hillgrove 1-0, 5-3 (nine innings) on Friday to advance as well.