Coming off of their tough defeat to county rival Oak Hill, the Eastbrook Panthers were much improved on Wednesday, hitting the ball well while significantly cutting down on the errors that cost them against the Golden Eagles.
But two high-scoring frames from the Alexandria Tigers proved to be the difference, as they plated multiple runs in both the first and fourth frames to defeat the Panthers, 8-5.
“It was the big innings that Alexandria was able to have that put them over the top,” Eastbrook Head Coach Ryne Brown said. “We had opportunities to do the same but just weren’t quite able to get the extra runs across that we needed. Even though we outhit them they were opportunistic when they had runners in scoring position and took advantage of some mental errors that we had.”
Alexandria scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, but Eastbrook came charging back, scoring one run in the second frame and three in the third to turn their three-run deficit into a one-run advantage.
Eastbrook’s lead was short-lived, however, as the Tigers scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to regain a four-run advantage. The Panthers scored one run in the top of the seventh, but were unable to get any closer.
Dylan Joseph finished 2-for-3 with two RBI for Eastbrook, while Jason Hale and Issac Rans each recorded two hits and an RBI. Dylan Bragg, Austin Castillo, and Eddie Keasling each collected hits for Eastbrook in the defeat.
“I think we are getting more comfortable at the plate,” Brown said. “We are playing a mixture of seniors through freshman on a daily basis, and some of the upperclassmen didn’t have lot of varsity experience coming into this season. So they are learning what it takes to play at a varsity level and getting comfortable with the pressures that they are facing. One of the things that we as a team have done a great job of is continuing to learn what kind of approaches that they need to take according to game situations.”
Blake Mitchell took the loss, allowing three hits and seven earned runs while striking out one.