Two Eastside Eagle players homered for the first time in their high school careers as the Eagles beat the Morgan County Bulldogs by a score of 9-2 on Tuesday night. Freshman Nick Womack cleared the fence in the third inning and Peyton Pallay went long in the sixth inning.
Eastside (7-0) hosted Morgan County (4-4) in a rematch from last Wednesday when the Eagles bested the Bulldogs by a score of 8-5. The end result was much the same as Daniel Garrett was assigned the pitching duties to start the game. After a couple of quick outs to open the first inning, the Bulldogs found themselves with a pair of runners on base courtesy of a couple of walks issued by Garrett. The base runners were left stranded as the inning ended on a deep pop fly caught by center fielder Cody Walker. The Eagles put their leadoff hitter Walker aboard on a walk only to have him erased via a pick-off. Pallay followed with a strong double to left field. With two out in the inning, Pallay attempted to score from second on a ball that made it through the shortstop and into left field, but he was tagged out at the plate when he slid into the brick wall that is the Bulldog catcher Stewart Spence.
With Garrett settled in on the mound, the Eagles defense cruised through the next four innings keeping the Bulldogs off of the scoreboard. Garrett only allowed two hits over his five innings of work while striking out four batters.
Offensively, the Eagles opened the second inning with Drew Buckhault drawing a walk, followed by Womack smacking a double and Hank Steele also drawing a walk to load the bases for Hunter Ballard. Ballard delivered with a double to left center and collected two RBI as Eastside took the lead. Jonathan Green had a sacrifice fly to right, driving in Steele to make the score 3-0 at the end of the inning. With two outs in the third inning, Buckhault continued to perform at the plate by hitting a triple. He then jogged home on the strength of the homerun by Nick Womack as Eastside opened up a 5-0 lead. The Eagle bats would go silent in the fourth and fifth innings with only a single by Ballard and not much else to show for their efforts.
The sixth inning brought about a pitching change for Eastside as Ty Raynor took to the mound. The first batter was not kind to Raynor as Andrew Couch drove the 0-2 pitch over the center field fence for a solo homerun that would put the Bulldogs on the board for the first time in the game. Raynor bounced back by getting two quick outs on a groundout and a strikeout. A two out single by Bulldog Sam Couch put a man on base, but not for long as the next batter belted a double and collected an RBI as Couch scored. Raynor would notch another strikeout to get out of the inning with minimal damage. In the Eagle side of the inning, Steele reached on a single while Ballard reached on error. Both would score as Walker doubled to left. Walker went on to score two pitches later as Peyton Pallay’s maiden homerun cleared the left field fence.
With a seven run lead, freshman pitcher Gray Ritchey was brought in to close the game for the Eagles. Ritchey did his job with a fly ball to short, a walk and a strikeout followed by a line-drive to short that ended the game to preserve the 9-2 victory for Eastside.
The Eagles will travel to Jefferson on Saturday to play a double-header against Jackson County and Jefferson before beginning Region 8-AAAA play next week.