JEFFERSON -- Eastside's baseball team suffered its first loss of the season in a tight 3-2 game against Jackson County before beating Jefferson 9-7 in a doubleheader at Jackson County High School on Saturday.
In the opening game against Jackson County, the Eagles' (8-1) pitching as well as that of Jackson County (6-5) kept batters off balance as neither team was able to get on the scoreboard through the first two innings. The Panthers scored first, taking advantage of an Eastside error allowing the next batter to plate the runner in the bottom of the third.
However, the Eagles answered back in the next inning to take a 2-1 lead on hits by Hank Steele and Hunter Ballard. The Eagles held the lead until the bottom of the final inning. With one out and runners in scoring position following a passed ball, the tying runner crossed the plate on a sacrifice groundout. The Panthers lineup rolled over to the leadoff batter who delivered a single to left field to plate the run and give Jackson County the win.
In the second game of the doubleheader against Jefferson (10-2), Eastside pitcher Peyton Pallay started off slow, walking the first batter before picking off the base runner. But the Dragons continued to swing their bats, eventually crossing the plate to take an early lead.After Pallay retired the batters in order to start the second inning, Eastside answered Jefferson's first-inning run, scoring three times to take a 3-1 lead.The Dragons plated an unearned run in the fourth inning but the Eagles responded at their next at-bat. Starting with a leadoff single by Chase Chancey and a double by Pallay, Musashi Briem gave the Eagles a 6-2 lead with the long ball.
Jefferson added a run in the fifth inning before Eastside took advantage of several Dragons errors to score three more runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 9-3.
Jefferson closed the gap with two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh. But Ballard, who came in to close the game, and Eastside's defense rose to the challenge and shut down Jefferson's offense to preserve the lead and the win.