A 9-6 loss is disappointing enough, but for the Eastside baseball team that feeling was multiplied in its defeat at Lumpkin County Wednesday.
The Eagles, who started the year out with seven straight wins and 16 victories in 17 games, needed the victory for the Region 8-AAAA championship, and defeated Lumpkin County in a run-ruled shortened 13-3 victory the night before.
After a scoreless first inning, Wednesday, the Eagles generated a little offense as Nick Womack singled to drive in Drew Buckhault who had walked earlier. Lumpkin answered right back with a leadoff single off of Eastside starter Daniel Garrett. A walk to the next batter would set the table for a two RBI double that put the Indians ahead 2-1.
Again in the third the top of the Eagle order was unable to get anything going. The Indians meanwhile had momentum on their side as they opened the frame with another leadoff hit, followed by a pair of quick outs. In similar fashion to the prior inning, Garrett then issued a walk to the next batter. Lumpkin kept rolling by putting another man on with a single up the middle driving in another run. Then the Indians made it hurt as Garrett gave up a two-run homer and the Eagles found themselves in a 6-1 deficit.
Eastside scratched out another run in the fourth courtesy of a Buckhault double in conjunction with another RBI single from Womack. Garrett then settled in to pitch a scoreless fourth and fifth inning. The Eagles mounted a comeback in the sixth with a leadoff walk to Musashi Briem, followed by a Hunter Ballard single. Nick Womack pounded out his third hit of the night driving in a run. Garrett then helped himself with a single to plate another run. Even House then registered a hit to bring in the fourth run of the inning to tie the game at six.
With Garrett still on the mound, the Indians continued to be productive. A leadoff walk and a base hit gave Lumpkin the chance they were looking for, but when they attempted a sacrifice to move the runners up, the bunt was popped-up, caught and then thrown to second to double up the lead runner. With the threat minimized, the Eagles caught their breath, but the Indians were not finished as they roughed-up Garrett for back-to-back-to-back hits to take a 9-6 lead and knock the senior pitcher out of the game. Dustin Kerbow came in to record the last out, but the damage was already done. Eastside threatened in the seventh with bases loaded, but stranded all three runners as the game came to an end. In taking the loss, Daniel Garrett gave up nine hits, issued four walks and recorded two strikeouts.