Tournaments : : Story
Friday, October 23, 2009

Covey attracts crowd, but the opponents shine, too

Jim Ecker        
JUPITER, Fla. -- The scouts came to watch Dylan Covey throw 96 mph fastballs and nasty curveballs in the BBWA World Championship here Friday night. They got what they came for, and much, much more.
 
Jimmy Hodgskin and Dashorn Lake combined to pitch a no-hitter as FTB Mizuno spanked Covey and the San Gabriel Valley Arsenal, 8-0, on the second day of the tournament at the Roger Dean Sports Complex.
 
Covey had eye-popping stuff, as usual, but he also had mild control problems and surrendered an unearned run in three innings. He struck out six batters with his sizzling fastball and sharp-breaking curve, but walked two batters, plunked another and uncorked a wild pitch. He allowed one hit.
 
Hodgskin and Lake were unhittable and stole part of the spotlight.
 
Hodgskin, a talented lefthander from Windermere, Fla., flashed a 91 mph fastball and a sharp curveball during his three innings. He struck out six batters, walked one and showed good control. Lake, a 6-2 righthander from the Virgin Islands, reached 94 on the radar gun and gave scouts something extra to savor with four strikeouts in two innings. Hodgskin, a senior, has committed to Troy University. Lake is a junior, and his performance undoubtedly improved his status with pro and college scouts.
 
"I felt good about the performance," said Lake. "I feel like I did a great job today. I went out and did what I had to do. I felt I contributed to the win."
 
The scouts packed in tight behind home plate, mostly to see Covey, an Aflac All-American who could be a first-round pick in the draft next June. There was an electric atmosphere as he warmed up at 94 mph, then went higher as the game began.
 
"I thought it was pretty intense," Covey said, referring to all the eyes in the crowd, "but I just tried not to think about it and throw strikes and try to do my job."
 
Covey has pitched before numerous scouts before, especially when he starred in this tournament a year ago, but he thought there were more scouts here Friday night.
 
"Last year, I came here and all the scouts were here for the Kansas City Royals team," said Covey, a senior from Pasadena, Calif. "It was kind of funny, because I was basically noone before that game and they were all there for the Kansas City team. It was kind of weird, looking around and seeing everyone there."
 
Covey starred against Kansas City last year with 17 strikeouts and a complete game, putting himself on the map. He's still there, near the top of everyone's list of amateur pitchers, but he was a stranger to the opposing pitchers Friday night.
 
"I didn't really know the kid I was throwing against," said Hodgskin. "I just knew they had a good team and it was going to take a lot to beat them. Our offense and defense got it together and we won the ballgame. Nice."
 
Lake didn't know Covey, either, but he enjoyed the atmosphere that Covey helped create. "It was a lot of people," he said. "I had butterflies."
 
Hodgskin said he also enjoyed the atmosphere. "I loved it," he said. "It was great playing in it, a lot of adrenaline. It was fun, real fun."
 
Covey's team trailed, 1-0, when he departed after three innings. The winners scored six runs in the fifth inning to end the game with the eight-run mercy rule.
 
 
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