On Sunday the Covington Post 32 A’s defeated the Rockdale Post 77 in American Legion play in a 12-2 win by overwhelming Rockdale with several hits and forcing them into four errors.
“We have to put our noses to the ground. We have to watch the baseball and we have to catch the baseball,” Rockdale coach Jeff Silvey said. “We’re a good baseball team. We just need to be ready to come out and play baseball.”
Blake Shope took the mound for the A’s and got off to a bit of a shaky start in the first inning. He walked his first batter, but took down his next on a groundball. However, the damage would come after he gave up two consecutive hits. A run would score to give Conyers the first lead of the game. Shope finished the inning strong by forcing his sixth batter into a groundout.
The A’s offense started the bottom of the first inning off in great fashion. Cale Brown hit a leadoff double that was followed up by a double from Dalton Reagin that scored Brown. Rockdale took down the next three batters to end the inning tied at 1-1.
Shope shook off his rocky first inning start and put away all three Conyers batters in order for three consecutive innings. The A’s continued to give Shope great run support to go along with his stellar pitching.
Covington scored three runs in the second inning with two of the RBIs coming from Brown and Reagin to give the A’s a 4-1 lead.
“He (Shope) was a little shaky in the first inning but he settled down,” A’s coach Bill Dallas said. “He spotted the fastball up but he came back and did his job.”
Rockdale cut the lead to 4-2 on an RBI single by Allen Bowen in the fifth inning, but that was the last run they would score in the game. The A’s would add four more runs in the next three innings to carry an 8-2 lead into the eighth inning.
Domenic Bazzani drove in the first run of the eighth inning for the A’s and an error by Rockdale allowed Drew Buckhault to score to give Covington a 10-2 lead. A sacrifice RBI allowed Bazzani to cross the plate giving the A’s an 11-2 lead.
Zach Beggs tried to contain the A’s offense to force the ninth inning, but it was to no avail as he gave up a hit to Davis Wheeler to invoke the run rule at 12-2 to give Covington the victory. Reagin went 3-4 for the A’s and added two RBIs.
“He’s a player. He’s a hitter.” Dallas said. “He’s been with me for a long time. He’s ready to go to college.”
In last week’s championship victory over Conyers, Post 32 off the pitching of Gray Ritchie. Ritchie faced the minimum in five of the seven innings he pitched and led the A’s to a 6-1 victory. After that game Conyers coach Jack Murphy said he thought Covington could win the title this year.