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Eastside honors veterans with win
1st Pitch - Johnny FloydWeb
Veteran Johnny Floyd throws out the first pitch at Eastside's Armed Forces Appreciation Day Monday night against Chestatee. - photo by Miles Steele

Monday was Armed Services Appreciation Day at Eastside’s Eagle Field and some of our local veterans were treated to a night at the ballpark and a win 5-0 win by the home team over Region 8-AAAA foe Chestatee.

The pre-game festivities honored Navy veterans Bobby Sims, Ensign; Bobby Hamby, MM2; Al Smith; U.S. Coast Guard veteran Don Floyd, ET-2 and Army veterans Glenn Whitaker, PFC; Linda Jones, Capt.; Grady Mullins, PFC; William Dial, CPL; Eddie Holloway, Sgt.; RV Shields and Johnny Floyd, who threw out the first pitch.

With senior ace Drew Buckhault assigned the pitching duties for the night, the Chestatee batters faced an uphill challenge. Buckhault was locked-in and faced the minimum through the first three innings by retiring the lineup in order each time. The only batter to reach base was promptly picked off at first.

Meanwhile, the Eagles wasted no time in getting on the board as table-setter Austin Holloway led off with a single and was moved around the bases by his teammates with Chase Raines collecting the RBI for a Eastside1-0 lead after one inning of play. Another run crossed for the Eagles in the third with Josh Sims reaching on error and Raines again getting the RBI.

Buckhault continued to deal from the mound over the next three innings and again faced only the minimum through six innings, except for a lone walk in the fourth. The Eastside offense added an insurance run in the fifth with an infield single from Jared Jones that was knocked across the plate by Holloway’s third single of the game.

The Eagles extended their lead in the sixth with Raines reaching on error and Buckhault helping his own cause with a strong single up the middle. A single from freshman Austin Kerbow plated Raines and was followed by a suicide squeeze that brought pinch runner Jacob Wilder (running for Buckhault) home for the fifth run of the game.

Buckhault again took the mound in the seventh to close out the game and soon found himself in a bases loaded situation with nobody out courtesy of a pair of errors and a hit batsman. A 1-2-3 double-play and a strike out ended the threat and secured the 5-0 for the Eagles. Buckhault’s numbers for the evening yielded only one hit and two walks while netting him eight strikeouts for the complete game shutout.

Eastside returns to action Wednesday on the road against Lanier in region play.