Eastside second baseman Hank Steele throws to first base after scooping the ball out of the dirt against Walnut Grove on Friday. (Photo courtesy of Gary Ezell Studios)
COVINGTON —Eastside scored early but Walnut Grove came back to score late in the game to beat the Eagles 3-2 on Friday.
“A 3-2 game is a good game, that’s a good team,” Eastside assistant coach Scott Walker said. “They’re number one in the region right now and there’s probably a two or three-way tie for second.”
The Eagles (11-8 overall, 6-3 Region 8-AAAA) took the lead in the home half of the second inning when Jared Jones’ single drove Chase Raines home with two outs.
Eastside pitcher Drew Buckhault helped his cause in the third to plate Austin Holloway to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Walnut Grove (8-9, 6-1) cut into Eastside’s lead in the fourth before taking the lead in the fifth scoring two runs off hits by Jake Frazier and Davis Wheeler.
Of the Warriors seven hits, five went straight up the middle of the infield.
“They hit the ball when they needed,” Walker said. “It’s the same thing we’ve had a problem with all season, we’re not hitting like we should.”
Along with the seven hits given up by Buckhault, he had four strikeouts and two walks.
Walnut Grove could have scored a few more runs but Eastside’s defense rose to the challenge with two double plays and a play at the plate when Holloway cut down the runner with a perfect throw from his short stop position.
The Eagles finished the game with four hits. Two of their hits came in the second inning with the other two coming in the third.
“We play great defense, we pitch good but we’re just not hitting,” Walker said. “We’re still young so hopefully toward the end of the season we’ll start hitting a little more than we are and score more runs against a team like this. But we’re going to have to hit better if we’re going to make it to the playoffs and go deep in the playoffs.”
The two teams will complete their series at 5:55 p.m. at Walnut Grove on Monday.