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PREP BASEBALL: Eastside blanks Social Circle in first action in 12 days
Cade Mitchell
After being named the 2019 Covington News All-County Pitcher of the Year, what does Eastside High School southpaw Cade Mitchell have in store for an encore? - photo by Brett Fowler

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — In a game where hits were hard to come by early, the Eastside Eagles found enough offense late to take down the Social Circle Redskins 10-0 on the road Monday night.

The game started off as a fierce pitching duel with both starters keeping the opposition in check and runs off the board. 

Cade Mitchell started on the bump for the Eagles and after cruising through the first inning, he found himself in bases loaded jams in the second and third frames.

Mitchell found a way to work himself out of both situations while keeping the Redskins out of the run column. And his poise under pressure caught the eye of Eagles head coach Brandon Crumbley who said Mitchell’s unflappable demeanor could pay off down the line. 

“I was really proud of Cade,” Crumbley said. “He’s a young guy, sophomore, and he pitched his tail off tonight. Seeing him work out of that jam, that’s big. That’s going to pay off in May when we’re in the playoffs, so it was good to see him do that and handle adversity.”

Mitchell’s performance was, for the most part, matched by Redskins starter Davis Smith. Smith’s stat line does not show how outstanding he truly was. Although gave up five runs in 4 and 2/3 innings of work, only two of those runs were earned. 

Redskins head coach Danny Blue was pleased with the performance of Smith on the mound but knows his team will have to clean up its work in the field to take advantage of a quality start.

“I was ecstatic. I thought (Smith) was fantastic,” Blue said. “One kid got ahold of one, but he wouldn’t have got ahold of it, if we make the plays behind him. With Davis throwing, if we play defense behind him, I think we have a tight game.” 

The Eagles started off the scoring with two outs in the top of the third inning as Noah Cook reached on an error and came around to score on another error. John Robert McGowan would get the big hit in the inning as he roped a double over the right fielder’s head to drive in another run which gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead after three.

That would be enough for the Eagles to take home the victory, but they continued to add onto their lead with three runs in the fifth, two in the sixth, and three in the seventh. 

It was a team effort as the Eagles (2-0) did an outstanding job of taking advantage of the free bases that the Redskins gave. Cook went 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. He, himself scored four runs, crossing home plate at least once in each inning Eastside put points on the board. 

Noah Cook
Eastside's Noah Cook drove the Eagles' offense in Monday's 10-0 victory over Social Circle. -photo by Brett Fowler

Cook’s hustle after his first plate appearance led to the Eagles first run, and Crumbley was very pleased with the hustle he showed, but not surprised.

“He’s one of the guys that’s just high motor all the time. Even on the football field, he’s always somewhere,” said Crumbley. “He just never stops and those hustle plays pay off in the long run.”

The Eagles had not played baseball in 12 days because of the weather, and Crumbley said that he was happy to see the offensive output of his team continue from its 14-run opener against Rockdale. 

Danny Blue
Social Circle head coach Danny Blue lauded the performance of pitcher Davis Smith, despite seeing his Redskins give up double digit runs to Eastside Monday night. -photo Brett Fowler

On the other side, Blue issued a similar sentiment about the Eagles’ offense and said that this game should be an indication of what the Redskins need to improve on to win against a great team like Eastside.

“(Eastside’s) got some sticks. The top of their order, they can swing,” said Blue. “We’ve got to learn to play at that level, if we hope to compete. We didn’t hit the ball at all, but I think tonight was a good lesson for us.”

Eastside will face a stiff test when it travels to undefeated  Morgan County (6-0) Wednesday before hosting Alcovy and Newton Saturday in the annual Newton Cup. Meanwhile, the ‘Skins will be back in action Tuessday when they travel to George Walton Academy (3-1).