It seems like baseball season just started, but yet most teams are already into the most important part of their schedule, region games. It is one thing to start off your region schedule, and it's another to start it against a border-county rival. Alcovy and Rockdale led off its Region 2-AAAAAA schedule with a three-game series against each other.
With Rockdale taking a commanding 9-1 win at Alcovy on Monday, the Tigers wanted to put up a better fight when they traveled to Rockdale on Wednesday evening. After a tough game, it was the Bulldogs who prevailed after a late-homer to take a 2-1 win over Alcovy.
Both starting pitchers Ahmaad O'Neal (Rockdale) and Nathan Purcell (Alcovy) put on an amazing display of pitches, and seemed to try to get the better of each other every time they hit the mound. They combined to only give up three runs, but it was Purcell that gave up the run to end the game. With the game tied at one in the bottom of the sixth inning, senior Jelani Clarington stepped up and blasted the ball in the left field for a solo jam to win the game. Clarington came in on the mound to close out the game in the final two innings.
Rockdale (5-6, 2-0) has a very young team this season with only three seniors on the roster and eight underclassmen. That contributes to the somewhat inconsistent play we've seen from Rockdale, but that also comes from playing a tough non-region schedule. There is talent on this team, and the future seems bright for the Bulldogs. But, Head Coach Jonathan Brewer wants his team to keep learning from their mistakes and shorten their errors. Brewer loves the leadership role Clarington has taken on his team, and praises his play on the diamond.
"He (Clarington) has been absolutely incredible for this baseball team," Brewer said. "Whatever college gets him is going to be getting a special one."
Alcovy (2-11, 0-2) has been hit with adversity this year, and like Rockdale only have four seniors on their team. Even though the Tigers are still trying to come together as a baseball team, their effort and heart cannot be questioned as they played their hearts out to get that win. If the Tigers keep with that same intensity, thing will turn around in the future for them.
"Baseball is one of those games where even if you play right you still lose," Alcovy Head Coach Ryan Denison said.
The third game of the series was Friday, check back with the Rockdale News for updates.