COVINGTON — Salem did what they had to do scoring four runs in the top of the first inning as they were able to hold off Alcovy for a 4-2 win on Wednesday.
With runners on the corners, Salem’s Tiwuan Head put the Seminoles (3-4) on the scoreboard first with a double to plate Ndiayemon Harrison and Yorel James. Head advanced to third base on a Rocky Mauriello single before making in 3-0 by stealing home. Mauriello scored what turned out to be the final run for the Seminoles on an Akil Baddoo double before Dalton Reagin struck out the batter to end the inning.
“Dalton Reagin pitched a (good) game,” Alcovy head coach Ryan Denison said. “But in that first inning we had a mental error and a physical error. We’re young and the mental error was a young mistake.
“We didn’t seem like we were too ready to play and that was my fault as a head coach. That’s not going to happen again.”
The Tigers (3-3, 1-0 Region 2-AAAAAA) had a hard time making contact at the plate early in the contest. Alcovy’s first hit by Austin Richardson came in the first inning before hit got the team’s second hit in the fourth.
Alcovy made some noise in the sixth inning after Brayden Ergle, who scored on a Richardson double, got hit by a pitch. Richardson closed the gap making it 4-2 after stealing home with two outs. Unfortunately, the Tigers went down in order in the bottom of the seventh preserving the victory for Salem.
“I am very proud of Rocky. That was an outstanding pitching performance against a top notch team,” Salem head coach Chad Kitchens said. “We made the decision as a coaching staff to play a tough schedule and our record has suffered somewhat. But I believe we are improving because of the tough schedule. Alcovy has a strong squad and that was a big win for us. We need to continue to improve a little bit every day.”
In Monday’s Region 2-AAAAAA game against Morrow, the Tigers’ Hunter Phillips provided the Tigers the offense and defense they needed.
Phillips provided five of Alcovy’s runs off two hits while keeping the Mustangs offense in a tizzy. In four innings of work, Phillips had six strikeouts and one walk while not allowing a hit.
“He pitched real well, it was his first outing of the year,” Denison said of his sophomore pitcher. “It was a solid performance with a lot of first-pitch strikes.”
The Tigers started the game putting Morrow in the hole scoring two runs in the first and two runs in the third inning.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, Alcovy took advantage of Morrow miscues a wild pitch put Ricardo Menchaca and Blake Earnest in scoring position allowing Phillips to bring them home making it 6-0.
The Tigers sealed Morrow’s fate scoring six runs in the six inning allowing Alcovy to start region play with a win.