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Posted: March 15, 2012 9:39 p.m.

Eagles' rally falls short 13-10

The Eastside baseball came into its first week of Region 4-AAA play after welcoming all comers in its early schedule.

Eastside won six straight before welcoming one of its toughest challenges yet, Spalding on Wednesday night.

The defending region champions and state runners up snapped Eastside's streak with a 13-10 victory.

"We scheduled some games early that we thought we could win and we scheduled some game early that we thought could challenge us," Eastside coach Brad Weir said.

Tuesday's contest was definitely a challenge, The Eagles (7-3, 3-1) looked up to the challenge early on, using a double play to get them out of an inning that featured two base runners for the Jaguars.

Eastside then put its first runner on base as Kieth Buckhault led off with a walk and moved to both second and third on a passed ball. Buckhault then scored on a Jake Wright's run-scoring ground out. Joey Mitchell reached on an error by Spalding's first baseman and scored on another error, this time by the pitcher throwing to second.

In the top of the second, Spalding got to Eastside pitcher, Jake Wright.
Wright making just his fourth start was given 70 pitches by Weir, who said he was pleased with the senior's steady improvement.

Wright gave up seven runs on 11 hits and three walks, with the first score coming on the first batter of the second inning.

Spalding's Matt Hayes led off the inning with a home run to deep centerfield. Chase Pruitt then grounded out to second to score Austin Smith. Powell Krepps scored on an error to the short stop and Spalding took the lead for good, 3-2.

Wright lasted into the fourth inning, and will be given more pitches by Weir in his next start coming next week.

"He is coming along," Weir said. "He hasn't thrown in the past three years, and that was his fourth start; we got 70 pitches out of him tonight. He's just now starting to get back in shape. He's not as sharp as we want him but we'll get him there."

In the third inning, Spalding got to Wright again matching its run output form the second.

Robert Green's double scored Casey Moody, who reached on a one-out walk. Hayes then hit his second home run in as many innings, scoring himself and Green, putting the Jaguars up 6-3.

After scoring two runs in the top of the fourth, Spalding had its biggest inning in the top of the fifth.

The Jaguars' Kepps led off with a double, but was later thrown out on a fielder's choice by the next batter, Chase Pruitt. Pruitt moved to second on a hit batsman and then to third ona passed ball. Peyton Pallay, who came in to pitch for Wright, then hit Moody, scoring Pruitt. Anson Link and Michael Martin scored on Robert Green's single Austin Smith closed out the scoring and put the Eagles three outs from the 10-run rule on a double which scored Green and Moody. Trailing 13-3, Eastside fought though the fifth, starting with Jake Wright's fielder's choice to score Cody Walker. Musashi Briem's double scored Keith Buckhault and Wright to pull the Eagles within seven, 13-6.

"We could have very easily folded tent there when it was 13-3 in the fifth," Weir said. "We scored one in the fifth to keep the game going."

The Eagles put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth before Joey Mitchell hit a two-run home run, scoring Mitchell.

"We scored four in the sixth to keep it going even tighter," Weir said. "We've got guys who like to fight, and that's what we've been looking for all year and I think we found some of that."

Weir hopes the Eagles will take that attitude further into the season starting with tonight's matchup at Henry County.

"We showed tonight that (Spalding) is not any better than we are," Weir said. "We could go out any day and dadgum compete with anybody.

"I like the fight in our kids tonight. We told them all I can ask for is 100 percent, you can't give me any more than 100 percent."

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