COVINGTON - Three home runs, including two by Buck Farmer, helped lift the Rockdale Bulldogs over the Eastside Eagles in a 15-10 contest Friday.
In a game that went back and forth, the Bulldogs scored in all seven innings while Eastside kept the score close scoring in five innings.
"I figured it was going to be neck and neck the whole way. Fortunately, we were able to pitch around some of the situations they got themselves in to," Rockdale head coach Casey Martin said.
While pitching played a big part of the outcome, it was far from being a pitchers' dual. Both teams combined for 27 hits with Rockdale collecting 17 of them.
Buck Farmer went 3-for-4 with a double and two home runs, earning four RBIs.
Nakeem Forte also had three hits with Kevin Dawkins, Jay Shirley, Mitch Farmer and Chris Robuck getting two hits each.
Going for extra-base hits were Dawkins (home run), Robuck (double) and Mitch Farmer (double).
"We just continued to hit the ball the whole game. That was what won the game. It was a complete team effort, both defensively and offensively," Martin said. "It was something we finally combined in a game consistently and it paid off for us."
Eastside also had its fair share of hits as Jared Trust, Git Aiken and Keaton Anglin getting two hits each.
Although the Eagles did not have any balls go over the fence, they had three doubles.
Hitting the doubles were Kyle Durand, Trust and Aiken.
"I was fairly pleased with how we played. We hit the ball well but had some bad luck a couple of times," Eastside head coach Michael Poor said. "We're playing better baseball than we had been earlier in the season."
A couple of good hits, which turned out bad for Eastside, came in the second and fourth inning when well struck hits turned into double plays for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs took the lead on a two-run dinger by Dawkins before the Eagles scored three runs in the home half of the first inning.
Mitch Farmer tied the game in the second.
But Eastside took the lead when Anglin scored on a throwing error before a two-run Aiken single made it 6-3 after two complete innings.
Rockdale tied the game with a run in the third and two more in the fourth inning to make it a 6-6 contest.
Both runs in the fourth were a result of a bad throw to first base.
"We had some defensive miscues but nothing huge. We had some balls not get picked up clean but had some miscues at critical points. All in all, they didn't give up, they kept plugging away," Poor said.
After capturing a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the fourth, Rockdale scored four runs in the fifth with two coming from a Buck Farmer home run.
The Eagles added one more run to their tally in the fifth inning before both team scored two more in the sixth to make it 12-10 after six complete innings.
Rockdale scored three more in the seventh off a Dawkins sacrifice fly and Buck Farmer's second two-run homer of the game.
"We could've walked him, but my pitchers aren't going to get any better unless they face quality hitters," Poor said. "Both pitchers, a sophomore and a freshman, handled themselves quite well."
Sophomore Bobby Coggins pitched five-plus innings for Eastside in which he struck out four while walking two, hitting one batsman and giving up 12 hits.
Freshman Randy Loew gave up five hits while walking two and fanning three in two innings of work.
After relieving Kevin Masters, who lasted for one-plus innings, Landon Blackwell threw five innings. In those five innings he gave up five hits while walking two and striking out one.
"He got the ground balls he needed and the defense was behind him," Martin said. "We had some great plays in the infield and turned some double plays."
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.