Eastern baseball dominates Warriors on road, falls at home

Eastern Alamance pitcher Matt Stanley took on Western Alamance in Thursday night’s Mid-State Conference showdown. Stanley allowed two hits and three runs over four innings, striking out two Warriors. At the plate, Stanley got one of only two hits the Eagles mustered off Western’s Chris Carlone, who shut out Eastern, 6-0. 

Eastern Alamance’s varsity baseball team overcame a doubleheader sweep against Northern Guilford the first weekend in April by taking down another of the Mid-State Conference’s top teams - Western Alamance - in a road game April 9. EAHS went over to Elon and dealt the rival Warriors a 14-4 setback. The Warriors then came to Mebane and repaid the favor on Thursday night, shutting out the Eagles on their home field, 6-0. 

In the opening game of the home-and-home series at Elon, EAHS took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Luke Brown, and then tallied four runs in the top of the third, after Western Alamance briefly tied the score at 1-1. 

Adam Weber drove in one of Eastern’s four third inning runs with a double, while Chandler Coleman singled to drive in two more runs. Will Austin drove in Eastern’s other run in the top of the third. 

Western scored three runs of its own in the bottom of the third to briefly pull within 5-4, but the Eagles settled the issue with two runs in the top of the fourth, and seven additional runs in the top of the sixth to beat the Warriors by the 10-run “Mercy Rule.” 

Eastern was led at the plate by Weber, who had four hits in five at-bats, and drilled a three-run homer as the Eagles were pulling away with seven runs in the sixth inning. Weber added a single in the first inning, a double in the third inning, and a single along with his home run as the Eagles batted around in the sixth inning. 

Eastern’s sixth inning offensive onslaught against the Warriors was led by Weber, Matt Stanley, Kasen McCawley, and Trey Burnette, who all drove in runs. Burnette finished the game with three hits and three RBIs, while McCawley and Coleman added two hits each for the victorious Eagles, who improved to 8-7 overall and 6-6 in league play with the win. EAHS finished the game with a combined 12 hits. 

Eastern’s lopsided win was all the more impressive considering that Western Alamance entered the contest with a 12-4 overall record, and an 8-2 mark in Mid-State Conference play, which tied the Warriors for second place at the time with Rockingham County.

Will Austin was Eastern’s winning pitcher, as he lasted three innings, allowing five hits and four runs while striking out one Warrior.  Weber threw three innings in relief out of the bullpen.

Western exacted some measure of revenge on the Eagles two nights later, as they came over to Mebane on Thursday and handed EAHS a 6-0 shutout loss. The Eagles struggled to solve the riddle of Warriors senior starting pitcher Chris Carlone, who went the distance and kept Eastern off the scoreboard, allowing only two EAHS hits and two walks with six strikeouts. 

The Warriors took command right out of the gate, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning against Eastern starting pitcher Matt Stanley. Stanley did settle down, holding the Warriors off the scoreboard until they added another run in the fifth inning off Eastern reliever Adam Weber. But by then, the damage had been done. Stanley allowed two hits and three runs over four innings, striking out two.

Eastern put together its most legitimate scoring threat in the top of the second, as Will Austin reached on an error, Trevor Moore walked, and Stanley ripped a single up the middle to load the bases. But EAHS was unable to get an RBI hit, and failed to bring home a run. 

A sacrifice fly gave Western Alamance a 4-0 lead in the top of the fifth, and the Warriors scored again in the top of the sixth for a 5-0 advantage. In the top of the seventh, Western’s Brady Quakenbush provided the final dagger for the Warriors by blasting an opposite-field homer over the fence in right center field for Western’s third run in three innings, and the 6-0 final margin. 

With four regular season games remaining, the Eagles are 8-8 overall, and 6-7 in Mid-State Conference play. EAHS plays its final league game on Tuesday night, as they’ll travel to Northeast Guilford. From there, the Eagles play at the Graham Eastern Tournament April 18 and 19 against Cornerstone Charter Academy of Greensboro and Chatham Charter of Siler City. The Eagles close out the regular season at home on April 24 against Orange.