Ea­gles fal­ter in fi­nal in­ning, fall­ing 7-5 to Raiders

Haber­sham Cen­tral tops East­side in re­gion play

The Covington News - - Sports - By Eric R. Wal­lace

COV­ING­TON — On Wed­nes­day it was a gor­geous day for base­ball at Ea­gle Field.

How­ever, once the sun had faded, East­side High (5-15 over­all, 5-13 Re­gion 8-AAAA) had suf­fered yet an­other heart­breaker, this time to re­gion foe Haber­sham Cen­tral, 7-5. “I felt that we played the best game we’ve played all year from start to fin­ish,” said East­side coach Michael Poor. “We played a team that’s con­tend­ing for a spot in the play­offs.”

East­side’s de­fense took over in the first in­ning, led by sec­ond base­man Keaton Anglin, who made spec­tac­u­lar plays to re­tire the Raiders (1110, 10-9) in or­der.

“I

felt I played pretty good to­day,” said Anglin. “I wish we could have won, but coach told us to play our hearts out and that’s what we did.”

The Ea­gles came out swing­ing in the bot­tom half of the in­ning. Jared Trust led off with a sin­gle. Jake Cas­teel hit into a fielder’s choice to get on then stole sec­ond base be­fore Git Aiken dou­bled to left field, plat­ing the first run.

East­side added two runs in the sec­ond in­ning when Haber- sham start­ing pitcher Craig Tan­ner gave up two walks. The free passes set up a two-run dou­ble to left field by Cas­teel, giv­ing the Ea­gles a 3-0 lead af­ter two in­nings.

And the de­fense rose once again to halt a threat by the Raiders in the top of the third. The fine play car­ried over to the of­fense, as East­side scored an­other run in the bot­tom half

of the third.

Cameron Daven­port, who was the start­ing pitcher, sin­gled up the mid­dle then stole sec­ond. Nate Harvill walked be­fore Anglin hit a sin­gle to load the bases with two outs. Daven­port crossed the plate when Tan­ner balked, and East­side had a 4-0 lead en­ter­ing the fourth.

But the Raiders were pa­tient, know­ing full well they could get back in the game. That op­por­tu­nity came in the top of the fourth when Daven­port got in a bit of a jam.

Af­ter walk­ing the first two bat­ters, Colton Web­ber sin­gled to load the bases with no outs. Mitch Brewer smacked a tworun dou­ble to deep cen­ter field be­fore Tan­ner sin­gled to right, mak­ing it 4-3.

An­other run scored on an er­ror by Daven­port tied the game at four en­ter­ing the fifth.

“We re­ally stepped up af­ter start­ing out so slow,” said Haber­sham Cen­tral coach Justin Clut­ter. “I’m proud of our guys; I thought it was a pretty gutsy per­for­mance.”

Though nei­ther team man­aged a hit in the fifth and sixth in­nings, Haber­sham broke the tie in the sev­enth by scor­ing three runs.

Is­mael Garza led off with a sin­gle to right, ad­vanc­ing to sec­ond af­ter a wild pitch. The next two bat­ters walked be­fore Kyle Bar­rett hit a sac­ri­fice fly to cen­ter, scor­ing Garza to give the Raiders the lead.

Caleb Ver­milya reached base af­ter a fielder’s choice, which plated an­other run be­fore Brewer hit an RBI sin­gle to left, mak­ing it 7-4.

“We got here late and it took a lit­tle time for me to loosen up,” Tan­ner said, “but when I did I was on. It felt good to get this win.”

East­side threat­ened to come­back in the bot­tom of the sev­enth. Cas­teel led off with a dou­ble to right be­fore the Ea­gles loaded the bases. Daniel Digby hit an RBI sin­gle to close the gap; how­ever, that was all the of­fense East­side could muster.

“We put our­selves in a posi- tion to win,” Poor said, “but we just came up short. I’m proud of the way we played to­day.”

East­side hosts Rock­dale County at 5:30 p.m. to­day.

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