The stakes for Wednesday night’s game were even greater as Class AAAAA fourth-ranked Eastside just came off its second loss of the season to host Lanier, the No. 7 ranked team in the same classification.
The two are also in the top three of the Region 8-AAAAA standings, with the first-place Eagles helping to solidify their position thanks to a 5-1 victory over the Longhorns.
Peyton Pallay took the mound for Eastside, pitching all seven innings, throwing a shutout for the first three. It was not until the fourth inning that either team scored a run.
Lanier struck first with catcher T.J. Richardson hitting a triple, which was followed by a pop-up fly from first baseman Matthew Ramsey, scoring Richardson.
It was the only run Pallay gave up all game, followed by offensive support from the Eagles’ lineup.
Eastside (17-2, 9-0 Region 8-AAAAA) put three runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth, starting with Musachi Briem’s triple, followed by a run-scoring double from right fielder Drew Buckhault.
The huge blast in the inning came when designated hitter Nick Womack hit a two run home run to give the Eagles a 3-1 lead.
Two more runs came for the Eagles in the bottom of the fifth inning when Womack struck a double to score catcher Hunter Ballard and Buckhault for two more runs and the final margin.
Pallay finished the day with a win for the Eagles on seven innings pitched and four strikeouts, while going 3 for 4 with two singles and a double, offensively.
“I am pleased with the overall effort of the team today,” said Eastside coach Jon Ayres. “We hit the ball well, played solid defense and got a great outing from Peyton.”
Womack had two hits, including the two-run home run, driving in four runs for Eastside.
The Eagles and the Longhorns square off again today, this time at Lanier. The Eagles are currently ½ game ahead of Stephens County and five ahead of third-place Lanier.
“We beat a quality team in Lanier and we will need to have the same type of effort on Friday to come away win a win,” Ayres said.
Miles Steele contributed to this report.