RACINE, Ohio — So much for the friendly confines of home.
For the second consecutive season, the Eastern baseball team spoiled things for the home team Thursday night following a 7-4 victory in eight innings over Southern in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup at Star Mill Park in Meigs County.
The visiting Eagles (5-9, 4-7 TVC Hocking) led twice through seven innings of play, and both times the Tornadoes (8-7, 6-4) rallied back to either tie the game or take a lead of their own. EHS, however, wrapped things up with three runs in the top of the eighth, which ultimately ended up being the final outcome of the game.
Brandon Coleman led the eighth off with a double, then Jesse Morris plated Coleman by reaching on a fielder’s choice — making it a 5-4 game. Morris and Tyler Morris — who reached on a single — both came around to score on an error, allowing EHS to secure a three-run cushion headed into the finale.
SHS rallied back from an early 2-0 deficit by scoring a run apiece in the third, fourth and fifth frames, giving the hosts a 3-2 lead. Eastern answered with a run each during the sixth and seventh innings for a 4-3 edge, but Southern tied things in the bottom of the seventh after Colten Walters doubled home Brandon Moodispaugh — forcing extra innings.
The victory allowed the Eagles — who snapped Southern’s TVC Hocking win streak at 35 games last season with a 16-4 decision on May 22, 2013, at Star Mill Park — to avenge an earlier 6-5 setback at EHS back on April 5. The Tornadoes have still won nine of the last 11 meetings between the two Meigs County programs.
EHS outhit the hosts by a slim 9-8 overall margin and both teams committed two errors apiece in the contest. Both SHS miscues came in the eighth inning.
Christian Speelman led Eastern with three hits and two runs scored, followed by Coleman with two safeties and two RBIs. Jesse Morris, Tyler Morris, Zack Scowden and Matthew Durst also had a safety apiece in the triumph.
Walters led Southern with three hits, followed by Hunter Johnson and Trenton Deem with two safeties apiece. Zac Beegle also had a hit for SHS in the setback. Deem, Walters and Blake Johnson each drove in an RBI, while Brandon Moodispaugh scored twice.