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Ballard leads Eastside past North Oconee
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The Eagles scored the final five runs of the game and held North Oconee to two runs overall in a 7-2 victory on a cool night at Eastside.

Hunter Ballard pitched a complete game and unofficially allowed just six hits, threw seven strikeouts and allowed one earned run. Jared Jones and Chase Raines were the catalyst for Eastside’s offense as they went 6-6 combined with three RBI.

With the game scores at the bottom of the second inning, Eastside jumped on the board and scored the first two runs of the game. Chase Raines and Josh Sims led off the second inning with singles. Raines would be thrown out on a fielder’s choice, but Sims later scored on a passed ball. Jones blasted a shot deep in the outfield for a double and the RBI.

The Eagles’ two-run lead didn’t last long. North Oconee scored on a sac fly in the third inning and again at the top of the fourth on a passed ball after Austin Holloway attempted to gun down a runner at third, but it was overthrown.

With two outs, runners at the corners, you’d think a hit would score Nick Womack, who was on third. Instead it was a balk by the North Oconee pitcher, Tanner Green that put Eastside up 3-2. Raines extended the lead with an RBI single that scored Austin Kerbow.

Eastside held its two-run lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. Jake Jones and Connor Hewell each had a single to put them on first and second respectively. Jared Jones laid down a nasty bunt to load the bases.

Not long after an HBP for Ballard scored Jared. North Oconee tightened up its defense and went home for the out on two consecutive plays. Yet another passed ball scored Ballard and two batters later Raines added another RBI single to finish the Titans off 7-2.

Eastside will travel to play Hampton next on March 9, 5:55 p.m.