In a duel between pitchers Tuesday night, the Alcovy varsity baseball team walked away with a region win over Rockdale County, edging the Bulldogs 1-0 on the road.
The Bulldogs and Tigers combined for twice as many errors as hits, tallying just a base knock apiece between the two teams, but it was Alcovy’s Dalton Reagin and Rockdale’s Will Hardy that stole the show on the mound.
Reagin and Hardy combined for 13 strikeouts in 14 total innings of work, both going the distance in an evenly matched battle.
In the end, it was Reagin and the Tigers that came out on top, as Alcovy pushed a run across in the top of the second inning that proved to be the game-deciding score.
“It was a solid game on both sides tonight,”Alcovy coach Ryan Denison said. “My hat goes off to Rockdale – they played a heck of a game. Their pitcher pitched his heart out and that was the tale of the tape tonight – Hardy vs. Reagin – they were great on the mound. Luckily we got a ball that broke our way and we were able to get a run across.
“Dalton pitched a heck of a game and the defense was pretty solid behind him,” he said. “Brock Carter, our freshman shortstop, played excellent defense tonight and those guys stood up strong behind their pitcher. I couldn’t ask for more from them.”
After a quick first inning for both teams, Alcovy struck in the second frame with two outs. Second baseman Blake Earnest hit a chopper down the third base line that struck Rockdale’s Zack Walker in the face. Walker recovered and tried to throw the ball to first, but his throw missed its mark and sailed into the outfield, allowing Earnest to reach second.
Alcovy catcher Quinton Grizzard followed with the Tigers’ lone hit, finding an open spot through the middle for a single that moved Earnest to third. Earnest touched home a few pitches later on a Rockdale passed ball, scoring the game’s lone run before Brady struck out Alcovy’s Brayden Ergle, ending the inning.
Rockdale had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the second, mirroring Alcovy’s start in the inning. After a pair of quick outs, Rockdale’s Terrell McLaughlin reached on the Tigers’ first error of the game. Jelani Clarrington drew a walk, moving McLaughlin to second, and a passed ball put McLaughlin into scoring position.
The Bulldogs’ scoring chance ended with a whimper, however, as catcher Davis Foster grounded out to Carter, ending the scoring threat.
Reagin sat down the final 15 batters he faced, but Hardy was just as impressive on the mound, allowing just a walk in the final five innings while striking out three.
Despite Hardy’s effort on the mound, Rockdale’s bats were unable to make a comeback and the Bulldogs couldn’t put a base runner on the field in the final four innings, falling 1-0.
Yancey Freeny picked up the Bulldogs’ lone hit in the loss in the first inning, finishing 1-for-3 at the dish. Grizzard also went 1-for-3 for Alcovy.
Reagin earned the win, allowing one hit in seven innings while striking out six, while Hardy took the loss on the mound, giving up one unearned run on one hit in seven innings with seven strikeouts.
“It was a good ball game tonight,” Rockdale coach Justin Arrington said. “Dalton threw well and anytime he’s locked in Alcovy is going to be a threat. I thought our kids battled at the plate and put a lot of balls in play. They were just able to hold their own. It’s tough to lose a game, but someone had to lose. We can learn from this performance.”
Alcovy returns to action Friday on the road at rival Newton, while Rockdale takes on Morrow on the road in region action.