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PREP BASEBALL: Tigers open season with Diamond Day sweep
Alcovy takes down Stockbridge, Morrow to improve to 2-0
Trace Payne
Senior Trace Payne and the Alcovy Tigers defeated Stockbridge, 13-10, and Morrow, 15-0, during Alcovy Diamond Day on Saturday open the season at 2-0. - photo by Mason Wittner

COVINGTON, Ga. — The Alcovy High School baseball team kicked off the new year by welcoming Stockbridge and Morrow to town on Saturday for Alcovy Diamond Day.

On an afternoon when defense was at a premium for all three teams involved, the Tigers pushed 28 runs across over two games to open the season at 2-0.

Alcovy 13, Stockbridge 10

The first game of the day featured two teams still looking to shake off some early-season rust defensively as the staffs issued 16 combined walks while the clubs totaled 15 hits and 23 runs.

Senior southpaw Hunter Owensby was tabbed to start for the Tigers, but was removed in the third inning after being hit just above the eye by a line-drive comebacker. Owensby underwent concussion protocol and sat out the rest of the day, but was in stable condition following the frightening event.

“Honestly, it was one of those weird games,” Alcovy head coach Jimmy Hughes said. “Hunter Owensby gets drilled in the head in the third inning, and honestly, you could just tell emotionally we were out of it for a little while. But they kept battling back. That’s the mark of a good team.”

Hunter Owensby
There was a scary moment in the Tigers' first game when senior left-hander Hunter Owensby took a line-drive comebacker off the head. Owensby exited the game and underwent concussion protocol, but was stable and isn't expected to miss many games. - photo by Mason Wittner
Owensby exited with a 4-1 lead, but Stockbridge immediately trimmed its deficit to 4-3 with John Stephens’ two-out, two-run double in the third inning. Alcovy stretched its lead back out to three in the fourth inning, but the Stockbridge Tigers plated three runs in the fifth to make it 6-6.

With one out and one on base in the home half of the fifth inning, senior catcher Chris Burney turned on a pitch and belted a two-run blast over the left-field fence. At the time, the towering home run livened up the crowd and sent the home dugout into near hysterics. But Alcovy’s momentum was short-lived, as Stockbridge promptly answered with a four-run sixth inning to take a 10-8 lead.

Down to their final six outs, the Alcovy Tigers began the home half of the sixth inning with senior Amari Satcher and junior Lamar Williams drawing back-to-back walks. Junior Jayden Bishop followed by taking a pitch off of his body to load the bases with nobody out.

Senior Jacob Golden kept the line moving by ripping an RBI single up the middle to make it a one-run game. In the ensuing at-bat, fellow senior Chandler Hicks quickly fell behind in the count, 0-2, before earning a walk to bring home the tying run.

After a wild pitch allowed Bishop to race home and put Alcovy back in front for good, junior Raquis Holmes added some insurance by notching a two-run single to left field to plate Golden and Hicks.

“We didn’t play well in any aspect, in my opinion. We hit the ball a little bit, but when you don’t play well and you find a way to get a win — against a quality team, at that — it says a lot about what we’re trying to build,” Hughes said.

Alcovy 15, Morrow 0 (4 Innings)

The Tigers ended Diamond Day in triumphant fashion by no-hitting the Mustangs in run rule-shortened victory.

Burney took the ball for Alcovy and threw a no-hitter, striking out nine while walking four over four innings. He finished the day with 76 pitches, 41 of which were thrown for strikes.

Alcovy scattered nine hits against Morrow as Hicks led the way with a 3-for-3 performance. Williams also had a multi-hit outing, going 2-for-2 at the plate with three RBI.

Next up for Alcovy will be a trip to Stockbridge on Tuesday, Feb. 18, for a rematch with the Tigers. First pitch is slated for 5:55 p.m.