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Eastside blanks Alcovy with 5-0 shutout win

COVINGTON — Gray Ritchey helped secure redemption for himself and Eastside’s baseball team for a loss earlier in the season with a strong outing on the mound as the Eagles blanked Alcovy 5-0 on Saturday.

Ritchey only gave up one hit in his five innings on the mound and striking out six batters while walking three. Seniors Dustin Kerbow and Hank Steele closed out the game on the mound giving the Eagles the win.

“This was a good bounce-back win for our guys,” Eastside head coach Jon Ayres said. “I was very pleased with the performance of our pitchers.”

The first three innings appeared to be a stalemate with neither team mounted much of an offense.

The Eagles (5-5) finally broke through to take a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning as Alcovy’s starting pitcher Hunter Phillips struggled to find the strike zone. Phillips had been effective through the first three innings before finding himself in a bases-loaded situation after walking three batters in a row.

Jared Jones collected an RBI on a fielder’s choice before Austin Holloway knocked in another run on his third single of the day. The third run was forced in on a walk to Drew Buckhault.

Through for innings of work, Phillips gave up three hits and six walks while striking out three batters.

Ritchey ran into a little trouble of his own in the fifth inning after he also loaded the bases on three straight walks with only one out. But he was able to get himself of the the jam with a strikeout and a groundout to maintain the shutout.

The Eagles managed to tack on an insurance run in the fifth as Chase Raines singled prior to being plated by Peyton Pallay.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Steele reached base on a single to shallow center field and was driven in on the strength of a single from Raines’ second hit of the game making the score 5-0.

Alcovy (5-7) Freshman Brock Carter kept Ritchey from having a no-hitter with the Tigers’ only hit coming in the second inning.

Alcovy will next play on Tuesday at home against Luella while Eastside heads to Gainesville to play Johnson-Gainesville on Wednesday.