By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– The pitcher-catcher relationship is a unique one. Both must work together as one yet can be totally different personality wise
David Allen and Ty Covalt fall in that realm as they sat in the College and Career Room at McNary High School. Covalt is a mellow leader from behind his catcher position who isn’t afraid to speak his mind while Allen has an energetic side to go with his calm and collectiveness when he is on the bump.
“I guess I could say opposites attract. We work together well. It’s nice when it’s not too lopsided, everyone doing the whole cheering thing,” said Allen. “I think it’s a good mix to have. The more character you have on a team, the better I think it is, better experience.”
“That’s essentially it. He’s a pitcher and I’m a catcher. I do the dirty work and he gets stuff done,” adds Covalt. “That’s what really it is. He has a good time dealing on the mound looking good and I work. I just grind, trying to make him look good. He makes me look good, I make him look good.”
Athletic Director Scott Gragg and Head Coach Larry Keeker talk about them as athletes and how great this opportunity is for Covalt to be committing to Umpqua Community College and Allen to Pacific University, Allen’s name was given to the Boxers coaching staff by former Celtic and current PU pitcher Josiah Gilbert.
“He was the one who actually introduced me to the coaches at Pacific. He talked to them way before I met them and said, ‘hey take a look at this guy’. So he really helped me with that because he ultimately led me to sign with them. It’s going to be really nice,” said Allen.
“Josiah is a great guy and I’m looking forward on being with him the player and the roster. But it’s also going to be nice. But having him there is going to be nice, finding a guy to go to who’s been there.”
Gilbert had just completed his freshman year with the Boxers and was pitching occasionally with the American Legion Triple-A squad the Keizer Crushers where both Covalt and Allen played full-time, and Gilbert showed Allen little tweaks on his pitches that Gilbert learned during this past Spring.
Covalt, who was vocal from the dugout during this past summer with the Crushers, was taking more of a leadership role entering his Senior season after talking to the Riverhawks Jeremiah Robbins.
“I talked to Coach Robbins when I went down earlier this year and I asked him, ‘what do I have to do to lead?’ because he makes great people coming out of his program and he said lead by example,” said Covalt. “There’s times where I speak my mind, but at the same time I need people to look up to me and to make an example of what I do. By doing it, it’s a good way of doing it.”
Robbins coached at Western Oregon University from 2006-2012 before heading over to Idaho’s Lewis and Clark where he complied a 256-63 record for the Warriors. Covalt’s working hard and attention to detail personality fits perfectly with what Robbins expects out of his athlete’s with Covalt’s Senior Season about to kick off here in a few weeks.
“Umpqua is a military-style baseball program. It’s all about working hard, so what I need to work on now is mental toughness. Put myself in tough situations to push through and I’m really determined to be better,” said Covalt. “Mechanically I’m really happy where I’m at. I just want to work on consistency, that’s way it’s the same thing every day. I’ll do that with repetition, a lot of quality repetitions and just going through motions.”