COVINGTON, Ga. — Greenbrier was saved by the Bell.
Hosting the Wolfpack in the opening game of their Region 8-AAAAA slate on Monday, the Eastside Eagles had no answer for junior David Bell. The Greenbrier right-hander went seven innings on the mound and allowed just one run while striking out six. He also wreaked havoc at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a pair of towering home runs and an intentional walk.
Bell’s dominant performance paved the way for the Wolfpack to collect a 4-1 victory at the Eagle’s Nest.
“We just couldn’t get a timely hit. Their guy pitched well, and he got two pitches to hit and he hit them out of the ballpark,” Eastside head coach Brandon Crumbley said. “When you leave good hitters good pitches that are over the plate, they’re going to going to hit it and they’re going to do damage with it.”
The Wolfpack wasted little time before inflicting damage on the Eagles.
Eastside left-hander Holden Hall opened the game with a strikeout and fly out before hitting the third batter he faced with a pitch. In the ensuing at-bat, Bell connected on a 2-2 pitch and belted it to right-center field for a two-run blast.
Bell came back to the plate to lead off the fourth inning. He produced another similar result, this time sending a 2-2 pitch over the fence in straightaway center field to give Greenbrier a 3-0 advantage.
Have yourself a night, David Bell.— Mason Wittner (@mason_wittner) March 16, 2021
The @GreenbrierBSBL junior went 2-for-2 at the plate with 2 HR and an IBB. He also went the distance on the mound, allowing one earned run and striking out six in the Wolfpack's 4-1 win over @EastsideBSBL in Monday night's Region 8-5A opener. pic.twitter.com/wYOOvhUt7A
The Eagles settled in defensively and worked through the remainder of the fourth and fifth innings unscathed. But after Greenbrier junior Jackson Smith led off the sixth inning with a double, and senior Carson Murray laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Smith to third, senior Dalton Wesley was able to lift a sacrifice fly deep enough to drive in the Wolfpack’s fourth run of the night.
Despite the four-run deficient, Eastside continued to apply steady pressure.
A fielding error and a pair of singles from juniors Kyle Shivers and Cole Shannon filled the bases with Eagles with two outs in the sixth inning. Bell worked his way out of the jam, however, by inducing a fly out to end the frame.
Eastside junior Slade Holloway fired up the Eagle dugout with a one-out triple in seventh inning. He later scored his club’s only run on a groundout, but the Eagles were unable to claw their way back into the contest.
“The biggest takeaway for us is this region ain’t over with. It’s anybody’s race,” Crumbley said. “We’ve got to regroup, refocus and get back to work. The biggest thing we’ve got to work on is just gettin that timely hit and pushing runs across.”
Eastside will get another crack at Greenbrier on Wednesday when the clubs meet again in Evans at 5:55 p.m. The Eagles will then continue region play with a two-game series against Clarke Central on Friday, March 19, and Monday, March 22.