TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — Soaring out of the gates.
The Eastern baseball team opened its 2018 campaign with a doubleheader sweep of non-conference guest Fairfield Christian Academy on Saturday in Meigs County.
The Eagles (2-0) started the opening game with four runs on two hits, two walks and an error in the bottom of the first inning.
The Knights (0-2) got one run back in the top of the second, but Eastern’s lead was back to four runs after Ethen Richmond doubled home Isaiah Fish in the home half of the inning.
In the bottom of the third, EHS pushed three runs across on one hit, one walk and one error. Eastern’s lead grew to 12-1 in the fourth inning, scoring four runs on the strength of five hits.
FCA scored twice in the top of the fifth, but Eastern sealed the 13-3 win in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Harbour singled in Connor Ridenour.
Richmond was the winning pitcher of record for the Eagles, pitching a complete game, striking out nine batters and allowing three runs on six hits and one walk.
Wyatt Shulz suffered the setback in one inning of work for the Knights.
Harbour led the EHS offense with a 3-for-4 performance, which included a double, two runs scored and one run batted in. Matthew Blanchard and Kaleb Honaker each went 2-for-4 with a run scored, with Honaker adding an RBI. Kaleb Hill doubled once, scored once and drove in two runs for the victors.
Richmond, Fish, Nate Durst and Josh Brewer each had a single and two runs scored for EHS, with Durst driving in two runs and Richmond recording on RBI. Owen Arix marked a single and an RBI for the Eagles, while Ridenour scored once.
Christian Blair led the FCA offense with a 2-for-3 effort and one run scored.
In the first game, Eastern committed four errors and left five runners on base, while Fairfield Christian had two errors and eight runners left on base.
In game two, after leaving a runner on base in each of the first two innings, the Eagles broke trough in the bottom of the third as Blanchard doubled and then came around to score. Fish reached on an error and later scored, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead by the end of the frame.
In the fourth inning, Arix singled home Durst, and then Fish tripled in Arix and Colton Reynolds. Eastern batted around in the fifth inning, pushing five runs across to seal the 10-0 mercy rule win.
Hill was the winning pitcher of record for Eastern, allowing three hits and three walks, while striking out two in a complete game.
Blaine Keener suffered the lost in four innings on the mound for the guests.
Leading the Eagles at the plate, Fish went 2-for-4 with a triple, four RBIs, and two runs scored, Blanchard was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and one run scored, and Hill was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
Harbour and Durst both singled twice, with Durst scoring once and driving in one run. Reynolds, Arix and Brewer each singled once in the win, with Arix marking an RBI and a run scored, Reynolds scoring twice, and Brewer scoring one.
Ridenour and Preston Thorla both scored one run in the game, while Austin Coleman picked up an RBI.
Blair, Keener and Blowers each had a hit for the guests.
Eastern didn’t have an error in the game, while FCA committed four. The Eagles left seven runners on base, while the Knights stranded six.
After a trip to Belpre on Monday, Eastern will be back on its home field against Miller on Tuesday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.