GLOUSTER, Ohio — Sometimes, it is about how you start and not about how you finish.
That was indeed true for the Eastern High School baseball team on Friday, as the visiting Eagles scored five runs in their final at-bat.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, they trailed 7-0 through the opening three innings — and lost 10-6 to the Trimble Tomcats in a key Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division tilt at Glouster Memorial Park.
Trimble, which topped Eastern 2-1 in a makeup matchup at Eastern last Monday, scored four runs in the first inning before adding two in the second and one in the third.
Eastern got one back in the fourth for a 7-1 deficit, but the Tomcats took command again — with two more in the fifth and one in the sixth for their largest lead of the day at 10-1.
The loss ended the Eagles’ regular season at 14-9, as Eastern finished 11-5 in the TVC-Hocking.
Eastern entered last week with a chance to still clinch at least a share of the division championship, but two losses to Trimble dashed those hopes.
The Tomcats raised their record to 16-4 — and to 12-3 in the TVC-Hocking, exactly a game behind Wahama (13-2 TVC-Hocking).
Wahama, which has already clinched at least a share of the league championship, will play at Trimble in a makeup contest with a date yet to be determined.
The Tomcats outhit the Eagles 13-9, as both teams committed a pair of errors.
Andrew Losey was the starting pitcher for Trimble, and gained the win in working the opening two and two-thirds innings.
He had a no-hitter going into the fourth, but the Eagles broke that up — as well as the shutout — when Nate Durst delivered an RBI-single.
Dante Brammer pitched the final three and one-third frames for Trimble, allowing five runs on seven hits.
Eastern amassed those five runs in the top of the seventh — all with two outs.
Austin Coleman, John Little and Cameron Richmond all singled, then Kaleb Hill’s two-run triple trimmed the deficit in half to 10-5.
Josh Brewer’s RBI-single made it 10-6, but Brammer struck out Ethen Richmond to end the game.
The Tomcats chased Coleman off the mound in the first, as the game resumed with Trimble leading 2-0.
With Cameron Richmond pitching when play resumed, Brandon Layton ripped a two-out double to left field for a 4-0 Tomcats’ advantage, scoring Cody Jones and Max Hooper.
Layton finished a perfect 3-for-3 with four runs batted in.
He later had a single and an RBI-double in the fifth off Coleman, making it 8-1 at that point.
Layton’s sacrifice fly to score Brammer in the sixth made it 10-1.
Richmond, after striking out a dozen Tomcats and walking none in the complete-game 2-1 loss, pitched only two and one-third on Friday.
He gave up four runs on seven hits, before Coleman came back in to finish up.
The Eagles will now host Southern today (Tuesday, May 10) in the Division IV sectional championship at 5 p.m.
Eastern and Southern split their season series, as the Eagles are the fourth seed with Southern the fifth seed.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106