Gainesville's Chris Eckhardt prepares to bat against Eastside. (Daniela Ortiz)

Gainesville Baseball Routs Eastside, 12-2

The Gainesville Hurricanes defeated the visiting Eastside Rams, 12-2, on Thursday night for their first run-rule win of the season.

Jumping Ahead Early

After holding the Rams (2-12) scoreless in the top of the first, Gainesville’s Broc Tucker and Zachary Kazlauskas hit back-to-back singles in the bottom half to apply pressure early. Their efforts paid off when a fielder’s choice RBI by Connor Kemph, followed by a wild throw on a stolen-base attempt, plated both runners to put Gainesville up 2-0.

Catcher James O’Ferrell tacked on another run with a double off the right fielder’s glove.

Never Looking Back

Despite Eastside putting up two runs in the top of the second, Gainesville (6-8) pulled further ahead in the bottom with a fielder’s choice RBI by Chris Eckhardt and a two-run single by Anthony Dang.

Eastside’s efforts to come back were stifled by a solid outing by pitcher Billy Holdsworth, who prevented the Rams from putting a runner past second base from the third inning onward.

Gainesville continued to threaten by using the free pass, walking eight times throughout the game to help make it a 7-2 game going into the fifth.

Late-Game Surge Puts Away Rams

Gainesville came out hot in the fifth, putting two runners on for Kazlauskas to drive in on RBI single.

However, the bottom of the inning was cut short after a controversial batter’s interference call that would have plated an additional run for the Hurricanes.

Not to be dismayed, the ‘Canes came back revitalized in the sixth, loading the bases to set up a walk-off single that finished the game because of the 10-run margin.

Up Next

The ‘Canes look to build on Thursday’s win when they visit Ocala West Port High School (3-12) for a 7 p.m. game today. Eastside will host Newberry (14-3) at 6 p.m. Monday.


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