Slade had mixed success in the fourth as he give up a walk, a wild pitch, a hit batsman and a single that allowed Covington to score two runs, but he also struck out the other three Trojans he faced in his final inning of work.
Slade’s going four innings was one of the things that pleased Sermak about the game.
“He gave us some good work pitching out there,” he explained. “We probably pushed him about 20 pitches more than he’d gone so far this year.”
The Comets batted around in their half of the fourth, scoring four more runs to lead 14-7. When the Trojans came up to bat in the fifth, they faced a new pitcher in Austin Vinson.
He struck out the first two batters he faced, walked the next one, but got the fourth to fly out to center.
Covington changed pitchers as well, bringing in freshman Quentin Andrews to pitch. He allowed two runs before finding his groove and retiring the side.
Down 16-7 going into the sixth inning, Covington could get nowhere against the pitching of Vinson. A fly ball and a pop fly were the first two outs. The next batter reached first on an error, but was caught in a rundown to end the inning.
Covington brought in another pitcher for the sixth inning, but a single, a passed ball and an error allowed a run to score that triggered the ten-run rule and ended the game at 17-7.
“I’m glad we got to play this game,” said Bever. “It was our first one of the season and, while we wanted to win, it was more important to see where we’re at. We needed to see what worked and what we need to work on.”
He noted that he has 30 players on his team this year, so he is trying to see who can produce for him.