APRIL 12, 2017 - COVINGTON
One more hit was all Covington needed, but it couldn't come through with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth in a 4-3 loss to Miami East ion Tuesday.
"It's frustrating," said Covington coach Mitch Mitch Hirsch. "This is our fourth loss by a run and in each one of them we had our chances and didn't get it done."
The loss drops Covington to 1-8 on the season, but Hirsch doesn't see his team as a 1-8 ball club.
"We're nine games in and I think we are better than our record," he said. "But you have to find a way to win games like this. When we came back and scored the three runs in the last two innings to tie it I thought that maybe we were finally going to get over the hump. But we just couldn't get the big hit when we needed it."
Miami East led off the game with back-to-back shots down third base line and a third base hit led to the first run of the game. The Vikings then squeezed in two more runs to take a 3-0 lead after one.
From there, the game remained 3-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when Ty Freeman drove in Nathan Blei, who got things started with one of his two doubles.
"Through the first five innings were were going through the motions," said Hirsch. "Finally, in the sixth our dugout started to come alive and we started playing baseball."
After holding Miami East in check in the top of the seventh, Covington plated a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning. Braden Miller tripled and Colton Francis drove him in with a sacrifice. Nathan Blei later doubled to tie the score at 3-3.
Covington once again shut the door on Miami East in the top of the eighth and had a golden opportunity to put the game away in the bottom half of the inning as it runners at second and third with one out.
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, they couldn't take advantage and left the runners stranded as the game moved into the top of the ninth.
And the Miami East bats, which had been dormant for nearly seven innings, came alive and the result was a run to make the score 4-3 in favor of the visitors.
Looking to extend the game or perhaps end the contest, Covington loaded the bases with two outs Branden Miller connected on a hard hit ball up the middle and right to the pitcher for the final out of the game.
"We have to keep playing," Hirsch said. "Hopefully we can build on what we were able to do in the last few innings."
Nathan Blei went the distance in the hill for Covington and was three-for-three with two doubles and an RBI at the plate. Ty Freeman was three-for-five with and RBI, while Braden Miller tripled and Colton Francis drove in a run.
Covington looks to end a five-game losing streak on Saturday at Northwestern.
SCORE BY INNINGS:
Miami East - 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 - 4 - 7 - 2
Covington - 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 - 3 - 9 - 1