STEWART, Ohio — Making the most of an adverse situation.
The Eastern baseball team made a last-minute switch to the schedule just to get its game in, but the Eagles ended up having a pretty good road trip on Monday following a 14-2 victory over host Federal Hocking in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest in Athens County.
The visiting Eagles (7-0, 3-0 TVC Hocking) received three perfect innings from starter Ethen Richmond, who fanned eight and also recorded an unassisted putout in facing nine batters during his winning decision.
Over that same span, the Green and White managed to build a 7-0 cushion — despite being held scoreless in the top half of the third frame. EHS posted another seven runs total over the final two frames en route to a 14-run edge.
The Lancers benefited from a walk, a double and Eastern’s only error while scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth, but the hosts ultimately ran out of outs in the mercy-rule decision.
Matthew Blanchard started the game by reaching safely on an error, then a Nate Durst single put runners on the corners before Austin Coleman singled both home — giving EHS a permanent lead of 2-0 without a single out yet recorded.
Eastern went on to secure a 4-0 cushion after a half-inning of play, then produced three more scores in the second for a seven-run lead.
The guests sent 11 batters to the plate in the top half of the fourth, which resulted in five runs on three hits, three errors, a walk and a hit batter. An error in the fifth also led to two more runs as the Eagles built a 14-0 advantage.
Federal Hocking’s offense finally broke through in the home half of the fifth as Brown received a one-out walk and later scored on an RBI-double by Rezell. Rezell later scored on an error to make it a 14-2 contest.
EHS reliever Owen Arix recorded outs against the next two batters he faced, wrapping up the 12-run triumph.
Eastern outhit FHHS by a sizable 12-2 overall margin and also committed only one of the nine errors in the contest. The Eagles stranded eight on base, while the Maroon and Gold left three on the bags.
Coleman and Richmond both paced the guests with three hits apiece, followed by Isaiah Fish with two safeties. Durst, Kaleb Hill, Josh Brewer and Ryan Harbour also had a hit apiece for the victors.
Coleman knocked in four RBIs and Coleman drove in two runs, with Brewer and Fish also driving one RBI apiece. Preston Thorla scored a team-high four runs, while Coleman touched home plate three times and Hill scored twice.
Tate and Rezell each had a double for Fed Hock’s lone hits. Carpenter took the loss after allowing seven runs, five hits, two walks and also hit two batters over two innings while striking out one.
Eastern was at Trimble on Tuesday and returns to TVC Hocking action on Thursday when it hosts Southern at 5 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.