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Controversial homerun call dogs Eastside in loss
Eastside's Cole Green hurls a pitch during the Eagles' game at Woodward Academy Wednesday night. - photo by Submitted Photo | The Covington News

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. -- Wednesday evening the Eastside Eagles traveled to College Park to face the Woodward Academy War Eagles for game two of their three game series, hoping to answer Monday’s narrow loss with a win. 

Instead, Eastside would drop its second straight to Woodward in a somewhat controversial 9-7 loss.

Riley Ralston got the start for the Eagles as he hoped to continue his dominant four-game winning streak on the mound. Ralston had difficulty locating his pitches early on. The first two batters he faced resulted in hits.

With runners on first and second, Ralston threw an inside fastball, which appeared to be hit foul by about 10 feet, despite having home run distance. The War Eagle base runners, thinking that the ball was obviously foul, walked back to their respective bases. The War Eagle batter, also turned around and began walking back to home plate to resume his at bat with one strike.

Then the home plate umpire signaled the foul ball as a home run and gave the War Eagles baserunners and batter the cue to circle the bases and plate three runs. Eastside coach Bruce Evans and Eagles fans became unhinged.

Evans appealed the call to the umpire in the field to no avail, and, as a result, Woodward grabbed a 3-0 lead.

After that, Ralston settled down and located the strike zone, and the Eagles’ bats came to life in the second inning when they tied the game at 4. The offensive eruption was sparked by a Tanner Feeney walk, a fielder’s choice by Sonny Vargas, and a single by Austin Holloway.

A back-and-forth battle then ensued as Cole Green entered the game in relief of Ralston. Green maintained command for Eastside, keeping them within striking distance of the War Eagles for the remainder of the game.

The only hiccup for Green came in the fifth inning when he gave up a homerun. Otherwise, he looked solid, tossing 42 strikes out of 75 pitches thrown. Ralston threw 75 pitches with 40 strikes.

In the end, Ralston suffered his first loss of the season. EHS collected 9 hits while Woodward had 13. EHS only had 2 batters strikeout while Woodward had 9. It was the missed call by the umpires in the first inning that broke the backs of the EHS Eagles. Those three runs proved to be insurmountable.

EHS will host Woodward Academy this Friday evening at 5:55 pm for the final game of their series. Come out early and celebrate 80’s night sponsored by the Eagle Dugout Club.