EATON — Eaton’s varsity baseball team put itself in a position to win the SWBL Southwestern Division title outright last week, winning two division games. The Eagles were set to play in their regular season finale on Monday, May 8, against Oakwood, in a game to decide the champion.
Oakwood entered last week with a one game lead in the division. Eaton erased that advantage on Wednesday, May 3, defeating the Lumberjacks, 3-0. The Eaton victory put both teams at 9-2 in the standings, with one final game remaining.
A Monroe loss last week to Franklin dropped the Hornets out of contention for the title with three losses.
The finale was set for Friday at Oakwood, but “Mother Nature” intervened as rain caused the game to be postponed until the following Monday.
On Tuesday, May 2, Eaton picked up an 8-5 win over Franklin in a game which had been suspended earlier in the season. The victory pushed the Eagles’ winning streak to seven games, which started after a four-game losing stretch, representing four of the Eagles’ five losses this season.
On Wednesday, Eaton and Oakwood faced off in the first of two games to decide the league title. The game became a “pitchers duel” between Eaton’s Bradley Curry and Oakwood’s Kais Drumheller. At the end of five innings, Eaton held a 1-0 lead.
The lone run at that point came when senior Trevor Pittman doubled, followed by a single from senior Donnie Nicodemus, moving Pittman to third. The first run of the game was the result of a balk called on Drumheller, allowing Pittman to score.
Colton Gray accounted for the Eagles’ final scoring opportunity in the sixth inning. Nicodemus again reached base with a single before Gray sent a long fly ball over the left field fence for a two-run home run. The homer was his second of the season and gave Eaton a 3-0 lead going into the final inning.
“It was a very well played ballgame,” Eaton coach Patrick Flanagan said. “These boys knew what was at stake and it was important that none of them tried to do too much. They stayed within themselves and we played ‘Eaton Eagle Baseball’.”
Curry picked up the complete-game win shutting out Oakwood. He allowed just three hits with four strikeouts and only one walk.
“It was a great team win and I can’t say enough about Bradley Curry,” Flanagan added. “He was outstanding on the mound just like he has been all year.”
He added, “I am proud of this group of young men and I am proud to be a part of this program. Now we have to finish the job against Oakwood.”
Eaton went into Monday’s season finale with a 15-5 record. The were also schedule to open OHSAA Division II tournament play on Tuesday, May 9, at home against Trotwood. Eaton is the No. 9 seed in the bracket – Trotwood is No. 18. If Eaton wins on Tuesday, they will travel to take on the No. 1 seed, Ross (17-3 at the time of the draw).