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Covington Chargers defeat top teams at USA Classic

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Covington first baseman Brad Walker makes a throw to first after fielding a bunt while pitcher John Michael Spoon looks on during USA Classic action Thursday in Millington. Photo by Jeff Ireland

The Covington Charger baseball team faced some tough competition last week in the USA Classic in Millington and fared well overall. 

Covington (14-9 overall, 3-0 district) ranked 10th in the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association poll, started strong in the loaded national field of the tournament with a 6-5 win over Louisville Trinity last Wednesday.

Matt Folk relieved in the sixth inning. He fanned three and got the win by virtue of two CHS runs in the top of the seventh. John Hayden Bowers got the save, snuffing a Trinity rally in the seventh.

Dalton Carlton paced the offense with a single and a triple and Brad Walker singled in a pair of runs. Ethan Whitley singled twice.

Extra innings were needed to defeat Murfreesboro Magnet in round two on Thursday. The 11-10 win took eight innings. Covington spotted the Tigers seven runs in the top of the third and then erased the deficit scoring four runs in the third and fourth innings. After Murfreesboro came back to tie with three in the top of the seventh, it took “small ball” to end it. 

Bowers reached and was put in scoring position at third after a perfect sacrifice from John Michael Cannon. Bradyn McClain provided the dagger, singling in the game winner. 

Walker had a three-hit day and Jaylen Jones a pair of singles.

CHS came up on the short end of a slugfest 13-11 against Fayetteville. 

McClain continued his hot hitting, putting another triple, a double and two singles in the book to go with three RBIs. Steven Cook drove in two and Carlton and Whitley each had two hits. 

Covington fell to Christian Brothers next. A double from Steve Cook and Ethan Whitley’s third-inning solo homer were Covington offense in 11-1 loss.

The Chargers hosted the Haywood Tomcats (10-8, 4-1) on Monday in District 15-AA play and took over sole possession of first place with an 11-4 win. 

The Tomcats took a 3-1 lead in the third before before CHS came back with four in the bottom of the third to reclaim a lead they would not lose. 

Singles by Cook and Folk, a double by John Michael Spoon a walk and two Haywood errors broke the game open. 

The Chargers scored four more in the fourth when McClain and Carlton both doubled and pitcher Jake Durham helped his cause with a single that drove in two of his three RBIs in the game. 

Durham (4-0) got the win, going 6.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out eight. CHS hosts West Memphis tomorrow night at 6:30 and Munford in an unusual Sunday game at 3:30. District play resumes on Monday. CHS and Jackson Northside swap sites next Monday (at CHS) and Tuesday (at JNS).

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