ATLANTA — Alcovy did what they had to secure the final Region 2-AAAAAA baseball playoff spot winning their last three region games ending with a 4-3 win over Druid Hills on Wednesday.
“First hats off to Druid Hills, they played a heck of a game,” Alcovy head coach Ryan Denison said. “For us, I couldn’t be more proud of this team. We have faced a tremendous amount of adversity this year and to come down to clutch time and having to win three region games in three days to get in; wow what a performance by these young kids.”
Even though the Druid Hills (11-11, 4-8) had four hits to The Tigers (10-13, 6-6) two, the difference is that Alcovy got their two hits in the same inning.
The bottom of the first inning saw Druid Hills take an early 1-0 lead with the help of an Alcovy error allowed the Red Devils’ Emaeus Thomas to score.
Druid Hills kept the Alcovy batters from any real threat of tying the game until the top of the fourth inning. An error and a pair of walks loaded the bases for the Tigers with one out. That was when Brayden Ergle found a hole in the Druid Hills defense plating Dalton Reagin and Nanpon Ross with a single into left field. After a walk reloaded the bases for Alcovy, an error by Red Devils third baseman DaJour Maddox allowed Dalton Smith and Ergle to cross the plate giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
“We only had two hits, but they came in clutch situations when we needed them,” Denison said. “Freshman Brayden Ergle came up big again with a clutch hit bringing in two (runs).”
The Red Devils came back in the fifth inning scoring twice to make it a 4-3 game with two outs. The first run came when courtesy runner Patrick Speck was driven home by a Thomas double to make it 4-2. Thomas closed the gap to one run after he crossed the plate on a Jack Bartlewski single.
Druid Hills kept Alcovy from extending their lead giving the Red Devils a chance to at least tie the game in the home half of the seventh inning. With two outs, Travis Bowman was able to keep the inning alive reaching first base with the help of an Alcovy error. With the courtesy runner, Speck, on first, the Tigers were able to end the game after Alcovy catcher Nathan Purcell threw out the runner at second trying to steal.
“Defensively, big plays by freshman Brock Carter and Brayden Ergle and sophomore Hunter Phillips at first kept Druid Hills off the bases,” Denison said. “Solid game behind the plate from junior Nathan Purcell.”
Reagin got the win for the Alcovy Tigers Varsity throwing all seven innings striking out five batters, walking two and surrendering four hits.
“Dalton Reagin pitched his butt off again in a complete game and kept Druid Hills at bay,” Denison said. “The senior leadership of Dalton Reagin, Nanpon Ross, Jessie Gilbert and Ricardo Menchaca was invaluable to this team coming together at the right moment and maturing.”