The Eastside Eagles baseball team dropped their second game in a row to Locust Grove Wednesday night. Despite a great defensive effort, Eastside fell 4-1 to the Wildcats in a tough battle at home.
Following Monday’s 11-1 loss, Eastside was able to hold the Wildcats, who remain undefeated in the region, to only four runs Wednesday.
“The way I see it, we still gave them three (runs),” Eastside Coach Bruce Evans said. “It should be 1-1, and we should still be playing. We swung the bat a little better tonight, but if we don’t make all the errors, we’d still be playing. You play a little harder when it’s 1-1 than when it’s 4-1. It could’ve easily been our game tonight.”
Eastside (8-6, 5-3 Region 4-AAAA) went down 2-0 early in the top of the third, but junior Austin Holloway scored the team’s only run in the bottom of the inning to bring the score to 2-1.
There was a key momentum change in the top of the seventh. When the Wildcats (12-1, 8-0 Region 4-AAAA) had all of their bases loaded, senior Connor Hewell came in for starting pitcher Gray Ritchey and struck out two Wildcats in a row to send the game to the bottom of the inning.
“Connor’s a senior, and he wants the ball,” Evans said. “He came in right there and did a heck of a job, and that’s the kind of stuff we have to do win big ballgames. I felt like everything they did was what should’ve been done.”
The Eagles had two hits in the bottom of the seventh inning, but with two outs, junior Josh Sims struck out with a full count, ending the ballgame.
Now the Eagles will turn their focus to Friday as they prepare for a key matchup at Pike County that could potentially affect their playoff seeding. Last season, Eastside lost 4-2 to the Pirates, which led to the Eagles getting the fourth seed in the playoffs.
“Friday is bigger than tonight’s game,” Evans said. “It determines the seeding in the playoffs and home field, so there’s a lot at stake in these crossover games. Hopefully my guys know what’s at stake. We have to come out and win those crossover games so during the playoffs, we get to play at home in the region playoffs. Then if we beat everybody head to head, we’ll get that third seed instead of the fourth.”
Eastside will head to Pike County Friday to face the Pirates at 5:55 p.m.