East­side base­ball pick­ing up Weir's phi­los­o­phy quickly

The Covington News - - Sports - BRYAN FAZIO Sports Ed­i­tor

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.”

An­thony Banks/ The Cov­ing­ton News

An East­side player lays down a bunt in a re­cent game. The Ea­gles have scored 30 runs in their last two games.

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