Eagles remain hot with win over Monroe Area

MONROE -- Not even the near-freezing conditions and a few snow flurries Monday could cool off Eastside's baseball team, which beat Monroe Area 8-4 for its fifth straight win.

The Eagles (12-1 overall, 4-0 in Region 8-AAAA) set the tone early in the game off a Hunter Ballard RBI to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

After the Purple Hurricanes (3-8, 0-4) tied the game in the home half of the inning, Eastside responded by scoring six runs in the third. Musashi Briem blasted a two-run homer to put Eastside back in front. A trio of walks mixed in with a few errant pitches and another base hit by Ballard led to another three runs. A sacrifice fly from Peyton Pallay drove in the sixth run of the inning, and the Eagles took a commanding 7-1 lead.

Eastside pitcher Gray Ritchey kept Monroe Area off balance through the fourth inning. But the Purple Hurricanes got back on track a little bit with a leadoff double in the fifth, which eventually led to a run to make it a 7-2 contest.

The Eagles got the run back in the sixth when Cody Walker started the inning by reaching on an error and soon crossed the plate on a double by Briem.

The weather began to play havoc with the Eastside pitching as Ty Raynor, who took over for Ritchey in the sixth inning, gave up a leadoff single and walked a batter to start the bottom of the sixth. Raynor eventually settled down and got out of the inning, but not before the Purple Hurricanes scored a run to make it 8-3.

Raynor closed out the game, but cold fingers contributed to a leadoff walk and a single to give Monroe Area a glimmer of hope in less-than-favorable conditions. With two outs, a single to left pushed a run across the plate for Monroe Area. Raynor struck out the final batter to preserve the 8-4 victory for the Eagles. He allowed three hits while walking two and striking out two during his two innings of work.

In his five innings, Ritchey gave up two hits and two walks while striking out three.

The Eagles will be back on the field today at 5:55 p.m. as they face Region 8A-AAAA opponent Walnut Grove on the road.