Alcovy gets nine-inning win over former head coach, Eastside and Newton split weekend series

15 strikeouts by Croom leads Rams to victory

COVINGTON — Newton and Eastside’s baseball teams had some success and disappointment in their games while the Alcovy won their matchup beating Pickens County 7-6 in nine innings on Saturday.

The Rams lost to Columbia 12-9 at home on Friday before coming back on Saturday to take care of Lithonia with a 4-2 victory while Eastside’s baseball team started out their doubleheader at Mountain View High School with a 3-o win over Apalachee. Unfortunately, they could not continue the momentum losing to the host team 2-0 on Saturday.


The Tigers (2-3) found themselves in a tough predicament against Pickens County (1-4) losing 6-1 heading into the top of the last inning of regulation. But Alcovy was able to get the momentum scoring five runs while making the Dragons and former Alcovy head coach Casey Bates wonder what just happened.

After a scoreless eighth inning, the Tigers were able to get Dalton Reagin in for the winning run on Nanpon Ross ground out for the win.

The Tigers had seven hits in the game coming off the bats of Reagin, Ross, Brock Carter, Nathan Purcell, Marc Beddington, Austin Richardson and Hunter Phillips who had a double.

Carter out the Tigers on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning on a Blake Earnest fielder’s choice.

Pickens County tied the game in the home half of the first inning before taking a 2-1 lead in the fourth. They probably thought they had the game in hand scoring three in the fifth and one more in the sixth.

Carter started on the hill going 4.2 innings giving up three hits while srting out one batter. Purcell got the win going 4.1 innings giving up three hits and striking out three batters. Neither pitcher allowed a walk.


In their first game against Apalachee (3-2), Gray Ritchey had a good start for the Eagles (2-3) on the mound pitching 4 1/3 innings where he retired the batters in order three times including striking out all three batters in the fourth.

After Eastside scored in the first inning, the Wildcats tried to make it a game getting a pair of singles in the third inning. But Ritchey and the Eastside defense were able to keep the runners from crossing the plate keeping Apalachee off the board.

The Eagles’ final runs of the game came in the fourth as a double by Chase Raines and a single by Josh Sims in the bottom of the fourth plated a pair of runs giving Eastside a 3-0 lead.

Raines came in to take the pitching duties for Ritchey with one out in the fifth inning to secure the win.

Also getting hits for the Eagles were Hunter Ballard, Austin Holloway and Nick Womack.

However, thing were different for Eastside in the second game against Mountain View. With a number of MLB scouts in attendance looking at Bears (4-1) pitcher A.J. Moore, the senior pitcher kept the Eagles hitters quiet with his 90-plus mile per hour fast ball. The Eagles failed to get a hit off Moore but were still able to get runners on base as a result of an error and a couple of walks.

While the Eastside offense was unable to produce, the Eagles defense, behind the arm of Drew Buckhault, also made scoring difficult for Mountain View. After giving up a leadoff single in the Bears’ first at bat, Holloway eliminated the runner trowing him out at second base while trying to steal.

However, the Bears were able to get on the board scoring a run in the first and in the second inning before the Eagles defense buckled down behind Buckhault.

In five innings of work, Buckhault struck out four batter while walking one and giving up six hits.

Moore, who had a no-hitter going through six innings, left the game with eight strikeouts and two walks under his belt. Even though Moore was not on the hill, his reliever proved to be just as dominating. The Mountain View submarine pitcher, Ben Utley, forced the Eagles to hit three grounders to the second baseman ending the game with a 2-0 win for the Bears.

“Our pitching was good all day long and our defense was solid throughout both games,” Eastside head coach Jon Ayres said. “This caliber of competition will certainly help us prepare for our upcoming region games.”


Newton (3-4) pitcher Daniel Croom had a day he will not forget for a while leading the Rams to a 4-2 win over Lithonia (2-3) behind his 15 strikeouts. Of his strikeouts, the batters missed ball 12 times for the final strike of the at-bat.

The Bulldogs took advantage of a error jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. But the Rams would come back scoring three runs in the third inning taking the lead away from Lithonia.

Kenny Glover scored the first run for the Rams on a Tristan McInerny double before tying the game on an Alex Johnson single. After scoring on an error, Lithonia returned the favor allowing Phillip Rowe to give Newton the 3-2 lead.

Newton maintained their one-run edge until the bottom of the fifth when a slow ground out by Glover allowed Boykin to score.

In Friday’s game, Newton was unable to top Columbia (6-1) with who had 12 hits but more importantly 10 walks despite getting 11 hits themselves.

Glover, Mason Calloway and Allen Bowen paced the Rams at the plate with two hits each. Bowen’s two-run homer run in the sixth inning may not have been enough to put the Rams over Columbia, but it was still noteworthy as it was the first home run at Newton’s new field.

Going for doubles were Glover and MJ Boykin.

The Eagles grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning before Bowen plated Boykin in the hole half of the inning making it a 2-1 game. Quick reactions by Auliver Astin allowed the Rams to tie the game in the second inning with two outs scoring on a wild pitch.

Just as quickly as the Rams tied the game, Columbia extended the lead scoring twice in the third before adding three more to their tally in the third giving the Eagles a 7-2 lead.

Even though Newton was down, they were not out scoring four runs in the fourth making it a one-run game.

Boykin put their first run of the fourth on the board when his double plated McInerny. Boykin scored on a Calloway single before scoring himself on a Levi Langford grounder. Bowen made the score 7-6 with two outs on a Glover double before Victor Medina got thrown out at the plate trying to tie the game.

The Eagles were able to extend their lead scoring two runs in the fifth, including a run by Elliot Hammonds who scored stealing home plate, and one in the six.

Bowen’s homer made it 10-8 but the Rams could keep up with Columbia in the loss.