|LAVEY GOES THE DISTANCE IN BUCCS' WIN...
Nate Lavey braved the cold, damp weather to pitch a three-hitter in a 5-2 victory over Miami East.
By Rob Kiser, Piqua Daily Call
April 11, 2009 - COVINGTON
On a miserable night for baseball, the cold, wet conditions didn't seem to phase starting pitchers Nate Lavey of Covington and Justin Baker of Miami East.
In the end, the Buccs were able to ride one big inning and the pitching of Lavey to a 5-2 victory in Cross County Conference action at Covington High School.
"We couldn't play last night because it was too wet," Covington coach Mitch Hirsch said. "But, tonight the temperatures weren't too good. But, it was good to get it in. There is no time to make up games. Nate (Lavey) pitched a great game. That was his first start of the season."
Miami East coach Barry Coomes would have preferred to have played on Tuesday.
"I had three seniors, including two starters, leave on a class trip today," Coomes said. "But, it is what it is. I am really proud of the kids. Covington is a good team and we played well tonight."
Lavey hurled a three-hitter for the Buccs. He had nine strikeouts, while walking three. That included striking out the side in the seventh inning to finish things off.
"Nate (Lavey) was outstanding," Hirsch said. "He didn't pitch last year because of an injury. We had used him in relief a couple times and I decided to start him. I knew he would pitch well."
Coomes was equally pleased with the work of Baker, who pitched a five-hitter and was hurt by his defense and a couple of untimely wild pitches. He struck out five and walked four.
"Justin (Baker) pitched a great game," Coomes said. "He has gone from being a thrower to a pitcher. We had a couple balls we didn't make plays on, but I was really pleased with the kids tonight."
Jake Bitner started Covington's first with a single. After Miami East couldn't make the play on a long fly ball by Logan Woloch, Adam Craft hit a fielder's choice to the right side to bring the run in.
"Adam (Craft) has just been hitting the ball hard every time," Hirsch said.
Miami East appeared to tie the game in the second. With runners on first and third and two out, Samson Meyer appeared to score on Baker's single to right. But, it was ruled the ball hit runner Colton Bowling going to second and the inning was over.
"I thought we had a run taken away from us there," Coomes said.
East evened the game in the third. Nick Hirsch beat out an infield single and Corey Colebaugh delivered a big two-out single to score him and make it 1-1.
But, Covington took the lead for good in the home third. After Bitner's second single, Woloch walked. Kyle Kanet hit a double that scored Bitner and Woloch and Kanet would both score on wild pitches to make it 4-1.
"That was a big hit by Kyle (Kanet)," Hirsch said. "Up to that point, we hadn't hit the ball very well. Anytime you can get a three-run lead, that is big."
Both teams scored single runs in the fifth.
Miami East took advantage of two Covington errors to score without a hit in the top of the fifth to make it 4-2. But, the damage could have been worse, as Lavey escaped a bases-loaded jam.
"There were a couple times where we had runners in scoring position and couldn't get the big hit," Coomes said.
Covington answered in the home fifth. Kanet walked and Craft and Lavey singled to load the bases. Andy Sparks delivered a sacrfice fly for the final run of the game.
Covington, 8-1-1 overall and 1-0 in the CCC, will travel to National Trail today. Miami East, 2-4 and 0-1, will host National Trail Friday.
Miami East ......001...010...0 2 3 2
Covington .......103...010...x 5 5 4
Baker and ONeal. Lavey and Craft. WP-Lavey. LP-Baker. 2B-Covington: Kanet.
Records: Miami East 2-4 (0-1), Covington 8-1-1 (1-0).