TUPPERS PLAINS, Ohio — In a one-run game and a league title race, you can’t lose focus, not even for a moment.
The Eastern baseball team held a one-run lead five innings into Monday night’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division showdown with visiting Trimble. However, with two outs in the sixth inning, the Tomcats scored a pair of unearned runs and held on for a 2-1 victory, knocking the Eagles from TVC Hocking title contention.
The Eagles (13-8, 11-4 TVC Hocking) were gifted the game’s first run, as Dillon Swatzel drew a bases loaded walk, plating Cameron Richmond.
Trimble (15-4, 11-3) — which hadn’t advanced a runner past second base in the first five innings — appeared to be headed for a quiet sixth frame after beginning with back-to-back strikeouts. However, an EHS error allowed Dante Brammer to reach safely with two outs. Brammer was then tripled home by Justice Jenkins, tying the game at one. Before a strikeout ended the frame, Jenkins scored on a wild pitch, giving THS a 2-1 edge.
Eastern left a runner on third base in the bottom of the sixth, and the Eagles were retired in order in the seventh, as the Red and Silver secured the 2-1 win.
Brammer was the winning pitcher of record, tossing three scoreless innings in relief for THS, while surrendering two hits. Tomcats starter Andrew Losey gave up two hits and four free passes, in four innings on the mound. Brammer struck out four batters, while Losey fanned five.
Cameron Richmond — who struck out 12 batters and walked none — suffered the loss for the hosts, allowing two unearned runs on three hits, in a complete game effort.
Cameron Richmond, Ethen Richmond, Josh Brewer and Austin Coleman each singled once in the setback, with Cameron Richmond scoring once and Swatzel adding an RBI.
Jenkins led the THS offense with one triple, one run scored and one RBI, while Kamron Curry and Brandon Layton each added a single and Brammer scored once.
In the game, Eastern had two errors, while Trimble committed one. The Eagles stranded six runners on base, twice as many as the victors left.
Eastern will have a chance at revenge on Friday, when the Eagles visit Glouster. THS is the only team left with a chance to share the TVC Hocking title with Wahama, which has already clinched a share. The Tomcats and White Falcons clash on Thursday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.