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Big third inning rockets Eastside baseball over Newton 9-3

COVINGTON -- A big inning and the ability to capitalize on errors played a difference in Eastside's 9-3 win over Newton at Georgia Perimeter College on Monday.

The Eagles (1-0) scored five runs in the third inning, with three runs coming as a result of errors.

In all, Newton (0-1) committed six errors on defense with three more running the bases.

"You can't win that way. Baseball is a simple game. You have lead-off walks that score and you have errors with two outs," Newton head coach Vincent Byams said.

"We have to get better and eliminate our mistakes. We made a lot of mental mistakes on the basepaths and a lot of mistakes in the outfield and infield. Across the board it has to get better. It's the first game of the year so we have 25 more to play."

Eastside's offense and defensive play had a lot to do with the win. The Eagles had seven hits with four going for doubles.

"We had around 22 hits on Saturday in our scrimmage. We have some guys that can swing the bat and play pretty good defense," Eastside head coach Brad Weir said.

Both of Jake Wright's hits were for doubles with Joey Mitchell and Daniel Garrett also connecting for a two-bagger. Musahi Briem also had two hits for the Eagles.

Even though Eastside pitchers Drew Buckhault and Matt Hitchcock combined for only four hits, walks were a problem for the Eagles' pitchers, who gave seven batters a free pass to first base.

"We have to do a better job early of throwing strikes," Weir said.

Newton had a chance to blow the game wide open as the Rams loaded the bases with no outs. But the Eagles defense was able to get out of the jam allowing only one run.

Eastside got the run back in the bottom of the first when Cody Walker scored on a wild pitch.

After a wild pitch allowed Tripp Loftin to give the Rams the lead in the top of the third, Eastside had its big inning, scoring five runs to take the lead for good.

"We always preach that we have to minimize the big inning. If you make one error per inning but don't make three after that, it's OK," said Weir.

"We have to become a lot better on the base paths. We have to extend our leads better and that kind of stuff. We'll go back to work in the morning and hopefully have it straightened out for Alcovy on Wednesday."

The Eagles will be on the road when they face Alcovy.

Getting the hits for Newton were Sherman Graves, Zach Sullivan, Daniel Croom and Loftin.

The Rams will try to even their record on the road today against Archer before playing county rival Alcovy on Friday at Alcovy.