Eastside used the power of the bat once again to notch its third straight win as it defeated Hart County 13-9 on Wednesday night.
For the Eagles it was game three of a winter break home stand at Eagle Field, and the team’s second matchup against the Bulldogs. Going for the sweep, the Eagles put senior Michael Hipps on the mound to start the night.
Hipps settled in after giving up three quick runs in the first inning, allowing two singles and a double off the top of the Bulldog lineup.
Relying on a combination of fastballs and off-speed pitches, Hipps kept the Bulldog hitters guessing incorrectly the majority of the night after that three-run blitz, as he threw 18 first-pitch strikes over five innings.
In what became a hard fought back and forth battle, it would be the red hot Eagles’ bats proving to be the difference maker.
Senior Austin Holloway led the charge with three hits while Cody Moody, Tanner Feeney, Riley Ralston and Ryan Shirley all collected multiple hits themselves. Jackson Watts made his debut tonight for the Eagles and hit a solid line drive up the middle, nearly taking the Bulldog pitcher down.
Sonny Vargas — who helped with four quality at-bats — and Colby Shivers drew three walks apiece. Coming in to close the game out for Hipps was a smooth combination of relief pitching by Erik Shirley and Cole Green.
Green sealed the game when he induced a ground ball to second baseman Noah Cook for the game’s final out.
The win improved the Eagles to 5-1 in the young season. They’ll get a short reprieve before traveling to Chestatee (0-4-1) on Monday.
Newton bats come alive against Woodland
The Newton Rams found a familiar result against a familiar opponent on Wednesday night, as they coasted to a 7-2 home win over Woodland. It was the second victory over the Wolfpack, with the first one coming in a 13-2 season opener triumph, and it marked the 50th win for Rams coach Andre Byrd.
It was a good bounce-back from Monday’s 11-4 loss to in-county rival Eastside, and serves as a chance for the Rams to grab a little momentum in the non-region schedule, as they’ll start a two-game series with Friday against Salem, with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Newton. The Rams will travel to Salem Monday for the second game, also at 5:30 p.m.