Riley Alef’s first career home run came at a great time for the Bulldogs, but New Albany was unable to hold on for the win versus Corinth, falling 9-8 Saturday night.
Down 7-1 in the top of the sixth, the sophomore’s grand slam brought the ‘Dawgs back to within one. Alef would add on an RBI single in the seventh, giving New Albany the 8-7 lead before Corinth won the game in the bottom of the inning.
“He had a good day all around, both games. First game he didn’t have a lot to show for, but all of his at bats were good,” NAHS head coach John Walker said.
“I can only remember in two games him being fooled on one pitch and he comes up with 6 RBI’s in a game that we’re down 7-1 and gets us right back into it,” Walker said.
The first game, coach told me I was on the ball. Didn’t have a hit, but my timing was down. The second game, I guess I found the ball and the timing was still on,” Alef said. “The guy threw me a high and inside fast ball and I just hit it. I thought the left fielder was under it at first, but then he started trotting back to the fence.”
New Albany got on the board first in the fourth inning, as Drew Wray scored from third after hitting a single earlier in the inning.
Corinth responded with seven runs off six hits and two New Albany errors in the bottom portion of the inning, including a grand slam of their own.
Taylor Goode, Wray and Corey Smith all reached base and a single by Cody McCullough made it 7-2 before Alef’s grand slam in the sixth. Wray would walk during his next at bat and a double by Smith placed runners on second and third when Alef’s single gave New Albany the lead in the seventh.
Wray and McCullough each had two hits for New Albany, but the Bulldogs combined for only eight hits in two games on Saturday.
“Overall, before Saturday, I would have said our hitting was pretty good, better than expected. Offensively, we’re not a good offensive team right now,” Walker said. “We have a lot of work to do. I think combined in the two games Saturday we had eight hits, and that’s not going to win you very many games, especially when you have to split that up over two games. Offensively, we have the potential to be a good hitting team, but right now we’re not there.”
New Albany will next play on Friday when they host Ripley before playing three games on Saturday, one at Myrtle before hosting the Hawks and Hickory Flat.