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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Highlands Baseball Drops Tough One to CovCath

Colonels Win Three Regular Season Meetings Against Bluebirds

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior second baseman Mason Welsch (left) and senior Jake Gulley (right) get in position in the game against Covington Catholic on Tuesday.

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At one point, it felt as though the Highlands Bluebirds baseball team (19-15 overall) seemed headed for another huge victory in two days at Highland Park on Tuesday.

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Highlands led 4-2 at one point in the game. But the Covington Catholic Colonels (31-1) scored twice in the top of the seventh to record a 7-5 victory. The Colonels have won all three meetings against the Bluebirds this season.

"You know what to expect from those guys. Their kids have great approaches," said Jeremy Baioni, Highlands Head Coach. "We talked after the game about how they don't chase pitches. You have to throw something in the (strike) zone to get them out. We challenged them. You tip your cap to them. They won some of those challenges. That's where those two extra runs at the end of the game came."

The Bluebirds batted .267 (8-for-30) in the loss. Senior Jake Gulley and junior Mason Welsch led the way with two hits each and a run scored. Welsch doubled and walked once with Gulley stealing a base.

Highlands had three doubles total. Juniors Ryne Wiseman and Drew Hack had the other two.

Senior Evan Rom started the game before Wiseman took over in the second and pitched into the sixth inning. Senior John Barth (3-3) finished the game taking the loss. The trio combined to strike out seven, walk seven and allow nine hits and seven earned runs.

"It's multiple things. We always look at mechanics," Baioni said when asked about pitching changes. "Ryan was actually better mechanically toward the end than he was in the beginning. We look at major dips in velocity and he didn't have any major dips in velocity. By just the eyeball, you could tell he didn't have those major changes. He said he felt good. He only ended up throwing in the 80s so it's not like he threw 120 pitches. He threw really well for us."

Highlands scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game at two. Senior Braden Becker and junior Nick Robinson scored on wild pitches. Welsch and Gulley scored in the bottom of the fifth to give Highlands a 4-2 lead.

CovCath took a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the frame, Hack doubled in junior Cam McAtee to tie the game at five. But the Colonels scored twice in the top of the seventh to win the game.

Highlands concludes the regular season at Ryle on Wednesday. Game time is 5 p.m.

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