By Ryan Palencer
— Due to wet weather conditions, the Covenant Christian baseball team played a doubleheader against two different teams on Saturday at North Putnam.
In the opener, the Warriors defeated North Putnam 9-4. However, in the second game, they fell to Cloverdale 11-1.
“(The effort Saturday) was great,” Covenant Christian coach Andy Gossel said. “We have really played pretty flat and have struggled as a young team to consistently compete. I thought that the intensity and focus from game to game and pitch to pitch has not been consistent. That’s what we really tried to stress all this week.”
After giving up a few quick runs in the opening game, Gossel was pleased with the Warriors’ resiliency.
“We gave up a couple of bloop hits and some things on some off-speed pitches and got into a little bit of a hole,” he said. “We were down 3-0 early. We were able to battle back, get some good at-bats and execute.”
With this effort, the Warriors went ahead 4-3, and then 8-3 and never looked back.
In the first game, Grayson Prather went 3 for 4 with an RBI, A.J. Taylor drove in three while scoring two runs, and Elijah Huff went 2 for 4 with a pair of RBI. Peter Gegg also picked up an RBI on a squeeze play
Gossel was pleased with the effort of junior Jake LaBounty, who gave up three runs in five innings, while striking out six.
The second game against Cloverdale got off to a rough start, and things never got better for Covenant.
“(Against Cloverdale), we just didn’t execute pitching-wise,” Gossel said. “We got ourselves in a big hole early. They put four on us in the top of the first. Without looking at the stats, I think we hit two kids and walked two and gave up a hit and we’re down 4-0 right off the start. We just didn’t get the pitching consistency and throwing strikes.”
Gossel believes part of the inconsistency is due to being such a young team. The Warriors regularly start five sophomores and a freshman. However, with experience, the belief is the Warriors will be in position to make some noise at the end of the year.
Defensively, the Warriors played well as they only had one error in each game.
So far, Covenant had three games rained out, but were able to make up two. However, in playing those two games, the Warriors have had to make some sacrifices.
“We have gotten 11 games in and I know that there are a lot of teams across the state that haven’t gotten that many games in,” Gossel said. “I can’t say that we are in a horrible situation…The biggest frustration is having to go on the road more because of wet conditions. It has been great to get them in, but at the same time, we would rather play at home when we are scheduled to be at home. Coming in to this week, we had been on a six game road trip. Then, we picked up two extra games that would have been at home. We haven’t been home in nine games.”