JACKSON CENTER – The Covington Buccaneers recorded a huge 4-2 victory in 8 innings over Jackson Center in the tournament opener on Monday.
The victory improves Covington’s record to 9-12 on the season and the Buccs will play at Bradford on Wednesday in the second round.
Covington loaded the bases in the first inning and again in the sixth, but couldn’t get the big hit needed to put points on the board.
Jackson Center had a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fifth, but a relay from Connor Humphrey to Tanner Palsgrove to Trey Schmelzer gunned down the runner to end the inning.
The game was scoreless until Jackson Center hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth.
Covington responded in the top of the seventh by scoring a run to tie the score at 1-1. Carter Owens drew a walk and Jacob Tipps advanced Owens to second on a bunt. Trey Schmelzer followed by driving a single to score Owens from second.
The Buccaneers shut down Jackson Center in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings and Covington followed by scoring three runs in the top of the eighth after Jackson Center walked three straight batters to load the bases. Carter Owens singled and then two passed balls led to runs scored by Carson Taylor and Owens to give the Buccs a 4-1 lead.
Jackson Center battled back by scoring a ru in the bottom of the eight, but Tyler Jay was able to force two ground outs to Carson Taylor to end the game.
Tyler Jay threw a great game as he went all eight innings. Jay allowed seven hits, two walks and struck out three batters. The defense behind him played extremely well despite committing one error in the field.
Covington racked up seven hits in the game with Carter Owens going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Trey Schmelzer, Tyler Jay, Tanner Palsgrove and Grant Blore also recorded base hits for the Buccs.