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Eastside falls in an extra-innings heartbreaker to Woodward Academy in Game 2
Cole Green
Eastside's Cole Green, along with Erik Shirley, did what they could from the mound to keep the Eagles in contention with Woodward in Game 2 of the two teams' Region 4-AAAA series. - photo by File Photo

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Eastside-Woodward Academy Part 2 was so good they decided to keep playing past seven. 

It took nine innings for the Woodward Academy to essentially lock up the region series, posting a 7-6 win over Eastside in nine innings.  

For the first time this season, Eastside dropped two games in a row, falling to 16-4 overall and 11-3 in Region 4-AAAA with Game 3 coming Thursday night at Eastside. 

Just like Tuesday night, Woodward would find the scoreboard first. The War Eagles put up a run and stranded a potential second in the top of the second inning to go up 1-0. It was 2-0 in the bottom of the third when Cole Green belted an RBI single to cut the lead in half. 

Eastside’s pitching and defense held in the top of the fourth frame, and then a Ryan Shirley smack drove in two runs to give his team a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the fifth. It was there where Woodward’s bats woke up once again to the tune of four runs in the next two innings to go up 6-3. 

The Eagles got what they needed in the top of the seventh, using a three-run frame to tie things up at 6. Then, with Woodward threatening, Erik Shirley threw a dart to catcher Tanner Feeney who tagged out a Woodward base runner at the plate for the third out, forcing the game into extra innings. 

Eastside coach Brandon Crumbley remained high on his bunch, even after its second straight loss.

"We battle our tales off," Crumbley said. "Down 6-3 in the top of the seventh, pushed three across to tie it in the seventh. They just never quit. We gave it all we had for nine innings, just came up short."

After the completion of this series, Eastside will close out its region schedule with a three-game series against Salem starting after spring break. Meanwhile, Woodward will engage in a region series with North Clayton starting April 9, then end the regular season with a trio of ballgames with region foe Luella. 

Although Eastside can't claim a series win against Woodward, Crumbley said the competition -- and specifically the hostile road environment -- makes his team battle tested for the postseason. 

"The best thing about this is that atmosphere got us ready for May."