LAKEVIEW Academy capped a night of momentum swings with a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning Friday to beat East Jackson 10-9.
The visiting Lions were down to their final out when freshman Lewis Brooks ripped a liner to centerfield to score Dakota Chalmers and Jarrett Huge, who both reached base via walk.
“It was a crazy game,” said East Jackson coach Matt Pruitt, whose team led on three different occasions. “It’s like so many games. It’s the stuff at the end of the game that you look at.”
But the things that happen in the middle of a game "can also get you beat," Pruitt added.
“We gave away some runs tonight,” Pruitt said. “The pitching was pretty good. We didn’t capitalize on some of our opportunities.”
The Eagles tried to make one more rally in the bottom of the seventh.
East Jackson (1-4) got a leadoff double from Alex Martin, but Lakeview reliever Derek Fadool got a pop-out, strikeout and ground out to end the game.
The Eagles had put together an impressive rally in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four two-out runs to give East Jackson a 9-8 lead. Two of those runs came off a throwing error and another came off a passed ball. Clean-up hitter Ethan Lyons then provided the go-ahead score with a double into centerfield.
Lyons finished the night 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
“He’s put some good swings on the ball and got some good hits,” Pruitt said. “That’s the kind of things we’re hoping for out of the four-hole.”
East Jackson’s Nate Strait pitched two innings and took the loss, surrendering the two-run single to Brooks. He took over in the fifth inning after Eagle starter Robert McKay surrendered a double to start that inning.
McKay worked five innings, surrendering seven hits, seven runs and two walks while striking out three.
Two East Jackson errors helped lead to three of Lakeview Academy’s runs on the evening.
“Overall, it (the pitching) was good enough to win if we play a little more defense and score another run or two,” Pruitt said.
East Jackson led very early, stringing together three two-out hits in the first inning, the second of which was an RBI single from Lyons to score Caleb Hardy.
Down 2-1 later, the Eagles rallied for four runs in the bottom of the third, getting an RBI single from Hardy, an RBI double from Josh Valles, a run off an error and a ground-out RBI from Jake Grindle to lead 5-2.
But Lakeview scored two runs each in the top of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take an 8-5 lead.
East Jackson now has 10 days off before its March 19 subregion opener against Hart County. Pruitt had mixed feelings about the upcoming layoff.
“It’s tough,” Pruitt said. “We’ve got some guys with some sore arms, so maybe it’s a good thing … When you lose one like this, you’d like to get back on the field but maybe the guys will be chomping at the bit to get ready to play against this region that we’ve got to play.”