GLOUSTER, Ohio — Even better the second time around.
The Eastern baseball team — which claimed a three-run victory over Trimble to start the week — bettered Monday’s performance on Thursday night in Athens County, defeating the hosting Tomcats by a 9-1 count in Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division play.
The Eagles (10-3, 9-2 TVC Hocking) — who posted 16 hits en route to their fifth straight win — took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, when a two-out single by Josh Brewer brought home John Little and Kaleb Hill.
The Tomcats (5-8, 3-6) — who’ve now dropped four of their last five decisions — got one run back in the bottom of the first, when Hooper doubled home Curry. Trimble only managed only two hits over the remainder of the game.
Eastern was retired in order in the second frame, but extended its lead to 5-1 in the top of the third. Little began the inning with a double and he scored on the very next at-bat, when Hill singled. Hill came around to score on a Nate Durst sacrifice fly, and then Owen Arix singled home Brewer to cap off the inning.
The Eagles were held scoreless until the seventh, but made up for lost time. Ethen Richmond singled home Little for the first run of the finale, and then Hill scored on a single by Brewer. Richmond and Brewer both came around to score for the final two runs of the 9-1 EHS victory.
Austin Coleman was the winning pitcher of record for Eastern, striking out seven batters in a complete game. Coleman surrendered one run, four hits and four walks.
Hooper started and pitched into the seventh inning for the Tomcats, striking out one and walking zero, while taking the loss.
The heart of the Eastern batting order had a night to remember at the plate, as batters 2-through-6 were a combined 14-of-19, with all nine runs scoring from that part of the lineup.
Durst was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in one run. Brewer was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and three runs batted in, Little was 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored, while Hill was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.
Richmond was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, while Arix and Isaac Nottingham both contributed a single and a run batted in.
Curry had two hits and a run scored to lead the Tomcats, while Hooper chipped in with a double and an RBI.
The Eagles finished with five runners left on base and two errors, while THS left six on and had no errors.
After visiting Miller on Friday, Eastern will host Grove City Christian in non-league play on Saturday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.