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PREP BASEBALL: Alcovy's Ryan Spikes, Chris Burney drive Tigers to best start in eight years
Ryan Spikes
Alcovy sophomore Ryan Spikes makes his home run trot after a 3-run shot in the sixth inning lifted the Tigers to a 17-7 win over Baldwin Monday evening, giving the program its first 2-0 start to a season since 2011. -photo by Michael Pope

COVINGTON, Ga. – The Alcovy Tigers improved to 2-0 to start off the season for the first time since 2011 with their 17-7 victory over the Baldwin Bulldogs Monday night.

The Tigers’ bats were very much alive, and their 3 and 4 hitters played a huge role in the team’s offensive onslaught as the three players accounted for 12 of the Tigers’ 17 runs. 

Sophomore shortstop and Tennessee commit, Ryan Spikes led the way for the Tigers as he finished his night 3-for-4 with two home runs and six RBIs. 

Spikes ultimately ended the game early with his three-run shot to left field that was an absolute no-doubter. Giving his team the mercy-rule victory in the bottom of the 6th was a great feeling for Spikes, but he knows his team still has a lot to do.

“It’s a great feeling, but more importantly we’re here to have fun and play the game the right way,” said Spikes. “We just need to keep building ourselves up, keep picking each other up, making good decisions on and off the field and keep playing the game of baseball the way it’s supposed to be played.” 

Chris Burney
Alcovy catcher Chris Burney had a solid performance in the Tigers' game two loss to Grovetown. -photo by Michael Pope

Following Spikes in the lineup was catcher Chris Burney, and he had a great night as well, finishing 2-for-3 and driving in four RBIs. Burney did a great job of working the count and being selective with his pitches, which led to his all-around stellar night.

Burney’s big hit came with the bases loaded in the second inning with an overpowering shot that gave the Bulldogs’ center fielder some trouble. Burney ended up on second after sending all three runners home and extended the Tigers’ early lead to six runs. 

Although it was a great offensive performance by the Tigers, The pitching and defense had struggles here and there throughout the game, but Hughes said he believes that as the team starts to build a winning culture, they will find a way to overcome these issues.

“I thought our pitchers did okay at times, but we have to do a better job of getting ahead,” Hughes said. “Way too many 1-0, 2-0 counts. I think we’re showing hitters too much respect. Overall it’s nothing we can’t fix at this point.”

This historic start for the Tigers is definitely a huge confidence booster this early in the season, and it should bring some swagger to the team. Tigers catcher and cleanup hitter Chris Burney knows that if they keep playing like this, it will bring his team some more respect. 

“It’s setting Alcovy on the map,” Burney said. “Other teams used to come here thinking that this was just an easy win, but now they have to fight for it. We’re ready for anything.”