Gainesville Outlasts Eastside to Complete Season Sweep

By: Carson Kaley and Trach Kercsmar

On Tuesday night, the Eastside Rams baseball team hosted their rival Gainesville Hurricanes. Gainesville entered with a 2-0 record against Eastside this season, outscoring the Rams by a combined 21 runs. Game three was much closer. The Canes won a low-scoring game, relying on early offense and excellent pitching to capture a 4-2 win.

Gainesville’s Hot Start

The Hurricanes came out strong to start the game scoring three first-inning runs. Two of these runs were scored from good base running off wild pitches that squeezed past the catcher. After the exciting first inning, Eastside pitcher Thomas Shay settled in striking out multiple Gainesville batters the next time through the lineup. Only one more run would score while he was on the mound. It would be an infield hit that scored a runner from third. A theme for the visiting Hurricanes was runners left on base, as they stranded 8 runners during the game including leaving the bases loaded to end the top of the 4th inning.

Eastside Offense Breaks Through

With Gainesville out to an early lead, Eastside looked to respond. Hurricanes’ starting pitcher Josh Morison had been impressive so far, tossing four scoreless innings to start the game. The Rams finally got to him in the fifth. Nine-hole hitter Jayden McBride led off the inning with a single, turning the lineup over for senior Maui Schwartz. Schwartz delivered a huge RBI double to put Eastside on the board. He advanced to third on a throwing error and was brought home by a fielder’s choice. It was now a 2 run game.

Relief pitcher Cade Dixon entered the game for Gainesville to close out the bottom of the fifth. He would strikeout five Eastside batters to end the game, securing the win for the Hurricanes.

Defensive Highlights

Both teams had good pitching performances, but not without help. Multiple plays by each defense kept runs from scoring. Eastside’s Miles Archer made a spectacular diving catch in center field to end the third inning and save a run from scoring. The Rams defense also executed a perfect rundown between third base and home plate, in total keeping two runs off the board for Gainesville.

The Hurricanes’ defense was on point as well, with pitcher Cade Dixon performing a successful pick-off in the bottom of the sixth to keep the base paths empty.

Standout Performances

Junior Josh Morison did it all for the Canes in this one. He got the start on the mound, pitching four innings with three strikeouts while allowing only three hits and no earned runs. Morison also provided plenty of offense, going 2 for 3 at the plate with an RBI, a triple and a run.

Eastside senior Nicholas Eichel went 2 -or-4 on the day and was one of only two Rams to record a hit. He was the bright spot in a rough night for the Rams offense, tallying an RBI and a run to go along with his pair of singles.

Gainesville has now won four of its last five games. The Hurricanes will look to keep the hot streak going at home against Oak Hall on Wednesday.

Eastside will look to get back in the win column when they host Bronson on Thursday.

About Trach Kercsmar

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