|BUCCS GIVE MIXED SIGNALS IN TUNE-UP...
The Covington Buccaneers came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat Miami East 15-5, but are yet to put together a complete effort over seven innings.
MAY 12, 2009 - CASSTOWN
In order to sharpen their skills for the upcoming baseball tournaments the Covington Buccaneers traveled to Miami East for a non-conference match-up.
And the Buccs gave mixed signals regardless of what the 15-5 victory on the scoreboard.
"The kids are coming out of the gate slow," said Buccaneer assistant coach Heath Francis, who took over for Mitch Hirsch as he was scouting Covington's potential first tournament opponent. "I don't know what they're waiting on. It's like we don't have the killer instinct."
Francis was referring to the Buccs spotting Miami East a 4-0 lead before they started to play the way they are capable of.
Miami East scored three runs in the first inning and another in the second inning before Covington finally started to play some baseball and scored three runs in the top of the third.
"It's almost like we don't believe in ourselves," Francis continued. "The kids know they can play ball, but they look for things to happen instead of making it happen. We need to take the bull by the horns and get at it from the get go."
Once Miami East got out to a 4-0 lead, Covington stormed back to score 15 runs in the next four innings.
Adam Craft and Brandon Flora each had big afternoons at the plate as bit went 2-3 with Craft doubling twice and Flora driving in four runs.
And the performance of Flora is something the Buccaneer coaches have been waiting for for quite some time.
"We've struggled in the nine spot all year," Francis explained. "But Brandon has stepped up from JV ball and gave us a some good at bats the past few games. Tonight he drove in a couple of runs with the bases loaded."
The fact the Flora has been able to contribute is rewarding to the coaches due to the fact he has played improved at the reserve level for much of the season.
"He's the type of kid that stays late for extra practice," Francis said. "He'll do anything to get better and that's the type of kids you want on your team. We're very pleased with how he is coming along."
And it was Flora who got Covington rolling in the fifth after it was stagnant for much of the first five innings.
"We were down 4-3 in the fifth and Brandon broke the game open for us with a single that scored two runs," Francis said. "He gave us a big lift, which is something we haven't had from our number nine hitter for most of the year."
Covington scored four runs in the fifth to take a 7-5 lead and then erupted in the sixth by scoring eight more runs to earn the six inning run rule.
"When we play the way we are capable of, we are tough to beat," Francis stated. "It all up to the kids. If they come focused and ready to play, the sky is the limit. If not, then we can be beat by anybody."
It's that simple for the Buccs as they look forward to the tournament.
SCORING BY INNINGS:
Covington .............0...0...3...0...4...8 - 15 - 6 - 3
Miami East ............3...1...0...1...0...0 - 5 - 5 - 2