COVINGTON - On Wednesday night, crosstown foes Newton and Eastside High laced up their cleats for yet another highly contested matchup, their first of the year.
However, in a rivalry that has brought forth so much excitement for players and fans alike, it would prove that only one team came to play, as the visiting Rams annihilated the Eagles in six innings, 22-5.
"You never like beating someone like that, but on the same note we were on the other side of a beating like that last week," said Newton head coach Billy Roper referring to a 26-8 loss to McIntosh on March 1. "We got things started early with our offense and put the pressure on (Eastside). Some days you got it and some days you don't."
After Eastside freshman starting pitcher Seth Allen gave up three first inning runs, including two home runs by Kinley Bryant and Josh Cloer, the Rams (2-3 overall) clearly had the upper hand early. The Eagles (1-5) would cut the lead to 3-1 on a fielder's choice by Tim Roton in the bottom half of the first, but that would be as close as they would come as Newton's Chris Boyd pitched a gem of a ballgame.
Boyd allowed just one earned run and one hit in five and one-third innings, closing the window of opportunity for the Eagles.
"I came out and threw strikes," said Boyd. "I pitched hard and let the defense do their job. They played great and I couldn't (have) done it without them."
Newton's Quinton Pooler belted a grand slam in the second inning to add four more runs to the scoreboard, causing Eastside head coach Michael Poor to pull Allen and look to Nate Harwell for a ray of hope.
Harwell, if only temporarily, was able to limit the Rams' offense for two innings after giving up one hit and two runs, giving the Eagles an opportunity to get back in the game.
Unable to generate any kind of offense, the Eagles would hold off the mercy rule until the sixth inning when the Newton bats came alive again. Banging out hit after hit, the Rams were able to put together a 12-run sixth inning.
During that same inning, Eastside pitchers combined to walk four batters, while hitting two. In addition, the defense committed four of its season-high 10 errors.
After trailing by the score of 22-2 entering the bottom of the same nightmarish inning, the Eagles tried to salvage some sort of pride by putting together a three-run rally led by the bat of Hunter Parker before ultimately surrendering.
Overall, every Newton player saw playing time, with each starter getting at least one hit. The only hits for Eastside came from Jake Casteel and Parker, who also had two RBIs.
With the victory, it gives Newton the edge over the county teams this season, as the Rams defeated Alcovy (1-3) on Monday, 9-7.
In that game, D.J. Hill belted a game-winning two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning. Boyd struck out the side in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the win.
Newton will next host Lithonia High at 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
Eastside will host Madison County at 5:30 p.m. today.