For six innings and two outs on Wednesday, Eastside's pitching dominated DeKalb at Parkview Field.
But with the Barons down to their final out and DeKalb senior Logan Greer facing a full count, Greer ripped a triple to right-center, driving in both Blake Lude and Bryce Dobson.
Greer scored when senior Aric Ehmke hit a liner to left in the next at-bat, giving DeKalb a 3-1 lead that the Barons (2-3) protected despite the Blazers putting two runners on in the bottom of the seventh.
“Just solid contact, that was all I was trying to do, and a good thing happened,” Greer said of the triple he hit off Eastside reliever Colben Steury. “I know he doesn't really throw a lot of off-speed, he usually was using the fastball – at least on me, he did. I picked up on that, got a good pitch. That was my spot, 3-2, he made a mistake.”
Greer said that he had never before had a hit that gave his team the lead when faced with what could have been the final strike of the game, but DeKalb coach Tim Murdock said he thought his Barons were due for a win.
“We lost three really close games, and it's really good to be on the winning end of one of these,” Murdock said. “That showed some senior leadership there. We get a couple of guys on base ahead of him, and he ends up hitting the big triple. It was more about being a good senior leader than anything else.”
The Barons had runners on the corners in the first inning (Greer reached on an error, and senior Nolan Nack on a walk), but Eastside pitcher Owen Willard escaped the jam when sophomore Alex Leslie grounded out. Willard, a junior, struck out seven in 42/3 innings.
The Blazers (0-2) scored their lone run in the bottom of the first: Senior Wade Miller was walked, stole second while junior Jack Buchanan was at bat, and then scored when Buchanan singled to left.
Eastside threatened again in the fifth inning, when Willard smacked a hit to deep right-center. He easily rounded third base and headed home going for an inside-the-park homer, but the relay throw beat him and he was called out.
The Blazers tried to mount their own seventh-inning comeback, and both Ryder Reed and Willard were walked. But with two outs DeKalb's Ehmke, who pitched for the entire game, induced a pop-up from senior Dylan Hertig
Still, Eastside coach Aaron Willard said he was impressed by his team's improvement from their first game of the season.
“I knew we had the pieces tonight, I can see how later in the year we can be a dangerous team,” Willard said.