COVINGTON - A game that could have gone either way didn't go in Eastside's favor as visiting Dacula collected a 2-1 victory Monday.
Until the seventh inning, when the Falcons hit Eastside pitcher Bobby Coggins four times, the sophomore only gave up two hits.
"The hits weren't big hits, they were little dinkers. They only hit one hard-hit ball that last inning," Eastside assistant coach Jason Strokes said. "He pitched a real good game, kept the ball low (and got) a lot of ground outs."
In seven innings of work, Coggins had two strikeouts and gave up six hits.
While Coggins tended to keep Dacula's bats quiet for most of the game, the Eagles (3-8 overall, 3-6 in Region 8-AAAA) also suffered the same fate.
The Eagles combined for four hits, including Kyle Durand's hit that went yard in the seventh.
"The umpire had a real big strike zone, and it really made a difference," Stokes said. "I believe that's Kyle's first home run. I don't believe he had one until this year. It's pretty big."
Durand had two of Eastside's hits with Tim Roton and Keaton Anglin getting the other two.
Eric Schrum was on the mound for Dacula, striking out four batters and allowing three hits in six innings.
The Falcons were in a position to put runs on the board as they had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the third inning. After giving up a run on a grounder, Eastside second baseman Travis Marks threw Jessie Baker out at first to end the inning.
The Eagles had a chance to tie the game in home half of the third, but they were unable to bring Anglin home. Anglin reached second base with one out after getting a single and then moving up when Jared Trust got hit with a pitch.
"We should have capitalized on the runners in the third inning. We squandered an opportunity right there," Stokes said.
Neither team was able to mount an offensive charge in the next three innings as both Dacula and Eastside had one runner get on base.
It appeared as if Eastside's defense was going to stop Dacula in the seventh inning until the Falcons loaded the bases after two outs.
Dacula's Chris Owens got the RBI after his line drive was knocked down by Coggins. Before anyone could get to the ball, Owens was on first and Danny Williams crossed the plate.
With the bases still full, Coggins shut the door on the Falcons with his second strikeout of the game.
Following Durand's homer to make it 2-1 with no outs, Eastside was unable to get another runner on base.
"We felt like we were in the ball game the entire time," Stokes said. "One hit here and there and we're in it."
Manny Fils can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.