STEWART, Ohio —Spreading the wealth.
The Eastern baseball team used four pitchers and had nine different players record hits on Thursday night in Athens County, as the Eagles soared to a 13-3 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Federal Hocking.
After a two-out error in the top of the first inning, Eastern (6-0, 4-0 TVC Hocking) broke the scoreless tie as Nate Durst doubled home Matthew Blanchard. Durst came around to score on a triple by Conner Ridenour, who then scored on a Brayden Smith double. The final run of the opening stanza came when Smith stole home, giving the guests a 4-0 edge.
EHS was held off the board in the second inning, but increased its advantage to 5-0 in the top of the third, as Ridenour scored on a Bruce Hawley sac-fly.
The Eagles came up empty again in the fourth, but moved ahead 7-0 on a two-out, two-run single by Hawley in the top of the fifth.
The first four EHS batters in the top of the sixth reached base safely and all came around to score. After back-to-back outs, Will Oldaker put the Eagles up 12-0 with a solo home run. The next three Eagles drew walks, but were all stranded on base.
Federal Hocking ended the shut out when Ethan McCune scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the sixth. Next, Hunter Smith hit a two-out, two-run double for the Lancers’ first hit, cutting the Eagle lead to 12-3 and avoiding the mercy rule.
Eastern still claimed a double-digit victory, however, as Blanchard scored on a sac-fly from Durst in the top of the seventh.
Colton Reynolds was the winning pitcher of record in two perfect innings for the Eagles, striking out two batters. Brayden Smith pitched the next 2.2 innings, striking out one batter and walking another.
Wyatt Watson pitched .1 innings for the Eagles, surrendering two earned runs on a walk and a hit batter. John Hobbs tossed the final 1.2 for the victors, striking out three batters, while allowing one earned run on two hits, two walks and a hit batter.
Gavin Tate suffered the setback on the mound for Federal Hocking.
Leading the Eagles at the plate, Durst was 2-for-3 with two doubles, three runs scored and four runs batted in, and Ridenour was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs and two RBIs.
Brayden Smith went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI for the Eagles, Blanchard was 2-for-3 with a quartet of runs, while Isaiah Fish was 2-for-4 with a double and one run.
Oldaker contributed a solo home run to the winning cause, Preston Thorla chipped in with a double and a run, Hawley added a single, a run and three RBIs, while Ryan Harbour came up with a single.
McCune and Hunter Smith each doubled once to lead the Lancers, with Smith earning two RBIs and McCune scoring a run. Mason Jackson and Damian Snedden both crossed home plate once in the setback.
Eastern committed two errors and left 10 runners on base, while FHHS had five errors and five runners stranded.
The Eagles will look to sweep the Lancers when these teams meet on April 22 in Tuppers Plains.
EHSwill be back home on Monday against Trimble.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.