Eagles takes down Spalding County on the diamond

GRIFFIN -- Eastside's baseball team ended Spalding County's reign over Region 4-AAA, giving the Jaguars their first region loss in two years with a 7-4 win on Monday.

Making it happen on the mound for the Eagles (16-4,10-2) was Tyler Bailey who kept the Spalding hitters guessing all night as he pitched a complete game in the 7-4 Eastside victory. Bailey threw a complete game, striking out seven batters while giving up only five hits with two walks and two hit batsmen.

"Tyler Bailey was great," Eastside head coach Brad Weir said. "He pitched with a huge amount of heart."

The Eastside offense was just as impressive outhitting the Jaguars 13-5. Pacing the Eagles were Jerold Sumner who went 4-for-4 with Keith Buckhault going 3-for-4 while Musashi Briem went 2-for-3.

Spalding County (13-5,11-1), who entered the game as the Class AAA No. 10 ranked team according to PrepCountry.com/GACA, took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning courtesy of a pair of base hits combined with a couple of Eastside miscues.

However, Bailey was able to settle down on the mound as he threw a scoreless third and fourth inning working through the heart of the Jaguar lineup.

The Eagles gave Bailey the run support he needed when Briem added another run to the board for the Eagles in the fifth with a towering home run. With the score at 6-2 entering the bottom of the fifth, the Jaguars began to threaten after Bailey gave up a leadoff single followed by a home run from UGA bound Casey Moody.

The Eagles added an insurance run in their half of the seventh when Briem drew a controversial walk and a Sumner single was misplayed in right field allowing Briem to score.

The bottom of the seventh was rather tense as Bailey hit the first batter and Moody came to the plate. Bailey cut down Moody's home run swing with a barrage of curve balls as the Jaguar slugger struck out. The next Spalding player would reach base on a fielder's choice as the runner from first advanced on an error. With two men on base and only one out, the tying run came to the plate in the form of Jaguar shortstop Matt Hayes who had hit two home runs against the Eagles in their previous match up. Bailey persevered as Hayes went down on strikes. While facing the next batter, Bailey ran the count full before striking out the last hope for the Jaguars.

"I am as proud of this team as any team that I have coached. They have taken everything we have taught them and it all came back to them tonight," said Weir.

The win puts Eastside solidly in second place in the region standings as they play region opponent Henry County at home today as they travel to Locust Grove on Friday.