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AOTW: Tigers’ Payne strikes out 11 against ‘Canes
REECE PAYNE - photo by Phillip B. Hubbard

COVINGTON, Ga. — Last week, Reece Payne took the mound for the Alcovy Tigers in the first game of a doubleheader with Monroe Area on April 7. In his outing, Payne threw five innings and only allowed two hits and surrendered six walks. 

Also included in Payne’s performance were 11 strikeouts by the lefty sophomore for the Tigers. 

Payne credits game preparation as one of the leading factors behind his solid performance on the mound. 

“I saw and studied what  to throw at them and what not to throw at them,” Payne said. “Then, I adjusted the second time through the order.” 

Once the game got going, though, Payne said his game plan was quite simple. 

“I just believed in my stuff,” Payne said. “I wanted to get ahead and hit my spots.” 

In addition to his role as a pitcher, Payne also serves as one of the team’s outfielders and mainly plays in center field. 

For Payne, just being a part of this year’s Tigers squad is the most special to him. 

“[My and my teammates’] bond is tight, especially when I hang outside of school with most of my teammates,” Payne said. “Me and coach [Jimmy Hughes] stay tight, always texting each other about baseball.” 

Payne is also a member of Alcovy’s FFA chapter. Right now, his favorite class is World History. 

His current plans are to keep working harder at academics and athletics. Payne also aims to attend baseball camps and get more in-game experience to improve his baseball skills. 

But, for now, Payne relishes the opportunity to see his team through the 2022 season, wherever it may lead. 

“So far, I think we have had a lot of ups and downs,” Payne said. “But I hope to see us move forward to the playoffs.”