BY GREG FLINT
WEST LEBANON, Ind. —
Experience was a big factor when Seeger defeated Covington 13-3 a baseball game shortened by the ten-run rule.
The Patriots start seven seniors including all four infielders for the second year in a row. By contrast, the Trojans have two freshmen, a junior and a senior as their infield.
“All of our seniors have played baseball together for a long time,” said Seeger head coach Nate Davis. “With that kind of experience, they know what to do out there. When we’re playing solid defense, we’re tough.”
His team did not have an error while their starters were on the field whereas the Trojans made some mistakes — but somewhat understandably according to coach Troy Bever.
“We had two errors on one play in the first inning and that hurt,” he said. “What really hurts us, though, is our lack of practice time.”
He explained, saying, “With the weather being what it’s been, we’re either playing a game or inside. We use the cage, but we can’t practice the situations like today when we’re inside.”
Seeger took advantage of the two errors and some of what Bever called solid hits in the first inning to go up 4-0. It might have been more, but Covington tagged out a runner at home to end the inning.
“I don’t mind that,” said Davis. “We were running aggressively and Covington had to make two throws just right to get the out and to their credit they did, but I still liked our aggressiveness on the play.”
The Patriots added three runs in the second as they used a walk, two hits and two sacrifices to chalk up the scores.
Karson Allen was the starting pitcher for Covington and Bever singled him out for his leadership.
“Karson took one for the team,” he explained. “He’s not really a pitcher, but we needed him to throw so he did. He went out there and threw strikes. That’s the kind of leadership you want to see.”
Bever said that Allen threw “three decent innings, but we didn’t give him any help.”
Allen gave up a home run in the top of the third to a player that Davis also credited with showing leadership — Jake Fell.
“Jake’s batting seventh, but he’s hitting about .500,” said Davis of the junior. “He’s hitting the ball well so we haven’t wanted to move him.
“He’s a happy guy who’s never too high or too low and he understands that what he’s doing is helping us.”
Aside from the Fell home run, the Patriots added two more in the third to lead 10-0.
Covington got on the board in the fourth when Allen walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice by Tristan Keller to make it 10-1.
Seeger added two more runs in their half of the inning so Covington was faced with the task of scoring two in the top of the fifth or seeing the game end on the ten-run rule after four-and-a-half innings.
The Trojans managed to do exactly that, getting two runs on a walk, a dropped third strike and a double by Ethan Taylor that made it 12-3 and forcing the Patriots to bat in their half of the fifth.
The hosts scored the one run they needed to end the game as they got four walks in the inning, the last one forcing in the 13th and game-ending run.
Davis said he liked how his team turned things around after what he called a poor weekend.
“I got a sense of urgency from our team from the get to,” he said. “We came out ready to play. It was good to get things back on track.”
Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org