APRIL 26, 2017 - COVINGTON
It has been a trying season for the Covington baseball team with some narrow defeats mixed in with blowout losses, which makes an 18-9 victory over Ansonia on Wednesday very enjoyable for Buccaneer coach Mitch Hirsch.
"It's great to get a win," said Hirsch after his team overcame an early 8-2 deficit to outscore Ansonia 16-1 the rest of the way for the third win of the season. "They (wins) have been hard to come by this year, so this one feels pretty good."
Covington opened up the scoring with a pair of runs off of a big hit by Mason Dilley in the bottom of the first inning, but Ansonia came right back in the top of the second to score eight runs.
"A lot of teams would have quit after giving up eight runs in one inning like that," Hirsch said. "I was kind of worried at that point."
Hirsch's worries didn't last long as Covington responded with 13 runs in the bottom half of the inning to reclaim the lead 15-8.
"That was big," said Hirsch of the second inning onslaught. "We've struggled hitting the ball this year. Most of the time when we do hit it, we hit it right at people. Tonight we were able to find the openings and it started in the second inning."
Braden Miller came into the game to receive starter Colton Francis midway through the top of the second and the junior was able to put together a solid effort the rest of the way on the mound.
"Braden threw as well as he's thrown all year, maybe the best he's thrown," Hirsch said. "We needed it because we have a lot of games this week."
And Miller had a lot of help behind him as his defense bailed him out in some critical situations.
But none were bigger than senior shortstop Nathan Blei, who made two unbelievable plays that resulted into double plays.
"Nathan is have a great, great year," said Hirsch. "The two plays he made, most high school kids can't make those type of plays. Hopefully he gets the recognition he deserves at the end of the year because there's not very many players out there like him."
Blei didn't only shine on defense as he was equally impressive at the plate by going 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.
"He's a complete player," Hirsch continued. "He's the best all-around baseball player I've coached."
Even with Blei's heroics and a 15-8 lead, Covington didn't let up as it scored runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth to put the game away.
In all, Covington connected on 15 hits with Mason Dilley coming up big with five RBI on four hits and Braden Miller helping out his own cause with two hits.
Josh Sowers drove in three runs, while Gage Kerrigan drove in a pair of runs and Colton Francis doubled.
It all led to the third win of the season and an opportunity for number four tomorrow night at home against Arcanum.
SCORE BY INNINGS:
Ansonia - 0 8 0 0 1 0 0 - 9 - 6 - 4
Covington - 2 13 0 1 1 1 X - 18 - 15 - 3