HEMLOCK, Ohio — They say it’s lonely at the top, but it seems like the Eagles like it that way.
The Eastern baseball team sealed the outright Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division title — its second straight — on Tuesday in Perry County, as the Eagles defeated host Miller by a 13-3 count in six innings their 20th consecutive league win.
Eastern (17-0, 14-0 TVC Hocking) — which also defeated the Falcons by a 10-0 tally on April 24 in Meigs County, and now has 25 straight wins in the head-to-head series — jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Tuesday, combining four hits and three walks with three MHS errors.
An RBI double by Conner Ridenour in the second inning gave EHS a 6-0 lead in the top of the second, and then Ryan Harbour scored in the following inning to make the margin 7-0.
After a run by Matthew Blanchard in the top of the fourth, four more Eagles crossed home plate in the bottom of the fifth to give the guests a 12-0 edge.
Miller delayed the mercy rule by an inning, scoring three times in the bottom of the fifth, but Colton Reynolds came home on a Will Oldaker single in the top of the sixth to cap off the 13-3 victory.
Reynolds was the winning pitcher of record in a complete game for Eastern, allowing three unearned runs on a walk, a hit and two hit batters, while striking out four. Cox took the loss on the mound for the hosts.
Leading the Eagles offensively, Ridenour was 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two runs batted in, Isaiah Fish was 2-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI, while Blanchard went 2-for-3, scored three runs and drove in one.
Reynolds contributed a single and three runs to the winning cause, Bruce Hawley and Brayden Smith both added a single and two runs, while Blake Newland singled once and scored once. Oldaker came up with an RBI single for the guests, Harbour chipped in with a pair of runs, while Nate Durst picked up an RBI.
Cox had Miller’s only hit, a single with one out in the fourth inning. McClain, Hettich and Needham each scored a run for the Falcons.
The Eagles committed five errors and left five runners on base, while Miller had three errors and three runners stranded.
Eastern — which now has nine double-digit victories on the year — continues league play on Thursday at Trimble.
This marks the 12th league title for the EHS baseball program, including its sixth TVC Hocking crown.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.