DAYTON — Eaton got a nearly perfect pitching performance from junior Trevor Pittman in the Eagles’ most important game of the season to date.
In a must-win game against Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division leader Oakwood, Pittman helped the Eagles to a 4-2 win in 9-innings on Monday, May 2, to clinch a share of the league title.
Eaton, which last won the SWBL in 2013, shares the title with Oakwood and Monroe. Eaton had to defeat both teams in back-to-back games to win the league. Eaton swept the season series from Oakwood and split with Monroe. The Eagles did stumble against Valley View and Brookville.
“Whenever I took over I knew I had some talent and some ability, but as anybody knows it takes more than that,” said Eaton first-year coach Patrick Flanagan. “The guys worked hard in the offseason. I thought, if things came together like I wanted them to, that we would have a pretty good chance of doing some damage in the league.”
Eaton did do some damage. The Eagles went 9-3 during league play.
“It was pretty awesome,” Flanagan said of winning the title.
Pittman took a perfect game into the sixth inning and a no-hitter into the seventh and was one out away from the no-hitter before the Lumberjacks finally got to him. He struck out 12 and allowed just one hit on the night.
“He was outstanding,” Flanagan said of Pittman. “He kept us in the ballgame. He was just dominating the entire game. That’s who you want with the ball in his hand. He rose to the occasion and he’s done that all year on the mound.”
Eaton lead 2-0 heading to the seventh. But a walk on a pitch that appeared to be a strike, according to Flanagan, was followed buy a homerun to tie the game.
But the Eagles battled back and scored twice in the ninth for the win.
With runners on first and second, junior Donnie Nicodemus delivered the game-winning hit to score both runners.
Nicodemus then finished the game off on the mound retiring the Lumberjacks in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory.
“It feels pretty good right now,” Flanagan said. “I really can’t express how much support I’ve got from the players, to the administration to the parents. They’ve welcomed me and my wife in. It’s been an outstanding experience.”
Eaton was scheduled to host Thurgood Marshall on Tuesday in the first round of the Division II sectional tournament.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH