COVINGTON - If standing toe-to-toe with a giant isn't hard enough to begin with, imagine having to do it over a span of seven innings.
On Monday afternoon, the Alcovy High baseball squad took on Loganville in a classic David vs. Goliath scenario.
However, there was no happy ending for the Tigers. Despite holding the Red Devils off for five and one-third innings, Alcovy eventually collapsed, losing a gritty region battle, 11-3.
"Those guys just hit the ball really well," said Alcovy head coach Joe Mobley. "The kids really battled hard and we pitched well. We had one bad inning in the fifth where we were outmanned, and we lost it."
The Tigers, led by starting pitcher Ross Roberts, entered the game full of energy and plenty of fight. Despite allowing one run off an RBI double in the second inning by Justin Pitts, Roberts held the Red Devils off long enough to give his team a chance.
And the Tigers seized the opportunity in the bottom of the second. After a single by Ellis Fanning and a double by Shaun Carter, Jon Pollard delivered a clutch home run to give Alcovy a 3-1 advantage.
After allowing two more runs in the third - the first by way of a sacrifice fly by Brandon Cruce and an RBI single by pitcher Nick Longendyke - the score was knotted at three.
But Roberts eventually settled down, throwing a shut-out fourth inning to give the Tigers their swagger back. However, they were unable to get anything going offensively, as Longendyke retired nine of the next 10 batters he faced.
Realizing they would not be able to silence the opposing offense for much longer, Mobley made the call to the bullpen after Roberts loaded the bases in the fifth, bringing in the right-handed Fanning.
Loganville coach Jeff Segars countered, making a pinch-hitting switch - Jacob Johnson - that paid great dividends. In fact, Johnson was the straw that broke the camel's back.
After working the count full, Johnson blasted a grand slam over the left field fence.
Unable to stop the bleeding, the Tigers allowed two more runs before Drew Smith
added another home run to end the inning.
Down 10-3, the Tigers fell short against one of the league's top pitching staffs. With Longendyke still wheeling and dealing, throwing heat all the way until
the sixth, Alcovy was unable to get any momentum going.
Loganville reliever Clay Garner, who entered in the sixth, closed the book on the Tigers by retiring the side in order.
After back-to-back singles by Alcovy's Beau Thomas and Michael Aventurato in the seventh, the game was eventually called on account of an interference, game-ending double play.
Alcovy hosts Madison Co. at 5:30 p.m. today.