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Ritchey keeps Lanier bats quiet in region win

COVINGTON — Gray Ritchey was able to shut down the normally explosive Longhorns baseball team as Eastside got redemption for their previous loss to Lanier with a 3-1 win on Tuesday.

The Eagles (11-6 overall, 6-1 Region 8-AAAA) sophomore hurler had nine strikeouts while allowing four hits and no free passes with nine strikeouts in the win.

“I was very pleased with Gray’s performance,” Eastside head coach Jon Ayres said. “He stayed focused throughout the entire game.”

After giving up a pair of singles to Lanier (10-5, 5-2) in the top of the opening inning, the Eagle defense helped Ritchey close the inning without letting a run score.

Lanier pitcher Kam Doster also had a good outing as he did not allow a hit through the first two innings.

Both teams put up an unearned run on the board in the third inning. The Eagles run came when Josh Sims reached on an error and was then driven in by an Austin Holloway single.

Ritchey and the Eastside defense shut down Lanier in the fourth inning and were soon back swinging the bats to take the lead in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff walk to Austin Kerbow and a single off the bat of Peyton Pallay. A single from Sims moved the runners over allowing Holloway to plate the runner on a fielder’s choice while Pallay crossed the plate on a Longhorn error to increase the lead to 3-1.

Doster remained effective for the Longhorns through the rest of the game only giving up a hit to Jared Jones in the fifth inning. But the damage had already been done. Ritchey continued to dominate through the rest of the game preserving the 3-1 win for the Eagles.

“I was proud of the effort put forth by our defense and the intensity that was maintained in the dugout,” Ayres said. “We treated this game as a must-win game in order to stay in contention for a region championship.”

The Eagles close out the week hosting Walnut Grove, who is without a loss in region play, on Friday.