Eastside bats come alive in 11-6 win

COVINGTON -- Eastside's bats came alive with 13 hits, including six for extra bases, as the Eagles got past Sandy Creek with an 11-6 win.

Even though the Eagles (6-2 overall, 2-0 in Region 4-AAA play) out-hit the Patriots (2-4, 2-1) 13-6, Eastside almost gave away the game because of the seven walks they allowed.

"We're going to swing the bats with anybody, we just walked too many people. We have to fix that," said Eastside head coach Brad Weir. "That's something that we can't have."

Three Eastside players -- Joey Mitchell, Keith Buckhault and David Van Leuven -- paced the Eagles with two hit each including one going for extra bases.

Hitting home runs were Van Leuven and Musashie Briem with Mitchell hitting a triple and Cody Walker, Daniel Garrett and Buckhault going for two-baggers.

"He's a guy that we normally DH for. He does a great job for us catching and blocking and framing everything. But for some reason I was sitting in class thinking it's about time we gave him a chance to swing the bat," said Weir of Van Leuven. "He's an outstanding kid and does everything we ask him to."

Sandy Creek got the lead in the second inning but it didn't last long. Van Leuven hit a two-run homer. The Eagles took a commanding lead in the fourth inning scoring six runs to take an 8-1 lead. However, the game was far from being put away as the Patriots came back to make it 8-6 in the top of the sixth inning.

"When we go up on somebody by seven runs we always expect to win," said Weir. "We need to stop making things too interesting. We have to shut the door when we have a chance. Hopefully, we'll get to that point."

But the Eagles refused to let Sandy Creek take the lead crossing the plate three times in the home-half of the sixth. After Buckhault plated Mitchell on a ground out, Garrett's double drove Jake Wright and Briem home to end the scoring.

"That's what we have not been doing in the past, getting that big hit. It was actually good seeing us do that," said Weir.

Wright pitched for 5 innings where he struck out nine batters while giving up five hits and four walks before Matt Hitchcock closed out the inning with two strike outs.

"We wanted to push Jake's pitch count to 70 and I think we got him out with like 71," said Weir. "He's actually still trying to get in shape. He's actually good for five innings and we should have gotten him out."