|BUCCS SHOW KILLER INSTINCT IN WIN...
The Covington Buccaneers jumped out early to a 7-0 lead and scored eight more runs in the last two innings to put away Bradford, 15-2 in five innings.
April 24, 2009 - BRADFORD
When you are 11-1-2, you'd think a team would be content with how it's playing.
But Covington coach Mitch Hirsch sees plenty of room for improvement, even after his team cruised by rival Bradford, 15-2 in five innings.
"We've been telling the kids that when you have a team down, you have to keep them down," said Hirsch. "We jumped on them in the first two innings for seven runs, but sort of lost our focus in the third inning."
And Bradford took advantage by scoring two runs and having the bases loaded with just one out.
"A hit at that point and it's a different game," Hirsch explained. "With bases loaded and one out, they had a lot of options - especially with no fence. You can't play too deep or too shallow at the point because a base hit probably scores two and its 7-4 and they have the momentum."
Fortunately for Covington, Kyle Kanet struck out the next two batters to get Covington out of the jam.
"I think it (the third inning) woke us up a little bit," said Hirsch. "Because we came back and scored five runs in the top of the fourth. You could see their shoulders drop after that."
Getting a team down early and closing the show when you have too is something Hirsch has preached to every team he has coached.
Despite the lackluster third inning, Hirsch thinks this team is finally showing signs of finding the killer instinct needed to do just that.
"We kept the pressure on pretty good in this game," he said. "We didn't kill ourselves with mistakes and kept hitting the ball hard all night. Those are good signs."
Covington opened the contest on fire offensively as three hits likely would have been home runs in just about any park with a fence.
But Bradford played its outfield deep and got the ball back into the infield very quickly.
"We knew they (Bradford) would play their outfield deep," said Hirsch. "They did it two years ago when we came over here, so we were prepared for that. We just told the kids to try and keep the ball down and put it in play. I felt we did a pretty good job of that tonight."
The ten hits Covington racked up was evidence in the Buccs' ability to put the ball in play, but limiting the errors that had cost them in recent games is what made Hirsch most proud.
"Defensively, we only had the one error, and that was a tough play to make," Hirsch said. "After having six errors last night, to have just one was good to see."
What was also good to see was the effort on the mound by Kyle Kanet, who went the distance in recording eight strikeouts and allowing five hits to an aggressive Bradford lineup.
"Kyle threw pretty well," Hirsch said. "He had some moments where he missed his spots, but overall he did a pretty good job of keeping them off balance."
At the plate, Jake Bitner led the way with three hits in four at bats with a double and three RBI.
Nate Lavey was 2-3 with a double and an RBI, while Adam Craft pounded in two runs and Logan Woloch went 2-5 with an RBI.
Next up for Covington is the Fort Loramie Tournament as the Buccs open with the host team on Saturday.
And with the forecast looking good, Hirsch is excited about his team playing for a third straight day.
"With all of the cancellations we've had, hopefully things start to come together and we can get some games in," he said. "There's some good teams in that tournament, so we're looking forward to it."
And one of those good teams is Covington.
Scoring by Innings:
Covington ........2....5....0....5....3 - 15 - 10 - 1
Bradford ...........0....0....2....0....0 - 2 - 5 - 2