Eastside baseball picking up Weir's philosophy quickly
When Brad Weir took over as coach of the Eastside baseball team before the 2012 season began, he was prepared to wait a couple of years for his philosophies to catch on.
About halfway through the season, through, the waiting is over.
Eastside has scored more than 10 runs six times, including a combined 30 runs in its last two games.
The Eagles have won eight of their last nine going into Thursday night’s matchup at Drew, thanks in large part to the players catching on so quickly.
“We were told we had some pretty good players, but it normally takes a couple of years for your hitting and pitching philosophies to catch on,” Weir said. “They were way ahead of everything where I was expecting them to be.”
The Eagles defeated Locust Grove 7-6 on Tuesday in a back-and-forth game, helping them solidify their position in the Region 4-AAA standings in third place.
“It was a good high school baseball game,” Weir said. “Everything went back and forth.”
Eastside’s previous game was anything but a good high school baseball game, well, for its opponent anyway.
The Eagles (10-3, 5-1 4-AAA) defeated Henry County 23-1 on Friday, helping boost their season runs per game average to 10.1.
Eastside has produced 131 runs in part by its patience at the plate, one of the philosophies preached by Weir
and his staff.
“We’re really trying to simplify our hitting philosophy,” Weir said. “When everybody is not hitting, everybody thinks something is wrong with them. We’re trying to simplify and try to get everyone to swing at strikes.
“We do an excellent job at that and our guys have taken to it well. They’re patient at the plate.”
Eastside displayed that patience against Henry County, taking advantage of a weaker pitching staff and walking 10 times.
“We always preach to them just to swing at strikes and see tons of pitches,” Weir said.
”We’re trying to preach not to expand the strike zone for the other team’s pitcher.”
As Eastside has reeled off wins in eight of its last nine, it has played three run-shortened games, scoring 12 runs against Baldwin, 15 against Stockbridge and 23 against the Warhawks.
While they didn’t go over 10 runs against Locust Grove Tuesday, Eastside was still able to put enough on the board to win. The game went back and forth with both of the Eagles top pitchers getting on the mound. Daniel Garrett started the game before Eastside’s No. 1 hurler, Jake Wright pitched the last 2 1/3 inning.
After Thursday night’s game, which ended after press time, Eastside plays a non-region contest against Monroe Area today.
The Eagles then play three straight road games at Jackson, Stockbridge and Sandy Creek.
First place Spalding is the only unbeaten team in the region at 6-0, and hosts Eastside on April 9.
“We’re just going to keep trying to win the ones that we are supposed to win and hope we whip up on Spalding next time we get them.”
An Eastside player lays down a bunt in a recent game. The Eagles have scored 30 runs in their last two games.