Eagles Close Out Season With Losses
By Brandon Reed
The East Jackson Eagles closed out their baseball season by being swept in a doubleheader at Rabun County.
The losses left East Jackson with a 7-17 overall record, and 6-13 in the region for the year. The losses left East Jackson in tenth place in the 8-AA region standings.
The Eagles kept it close in game one, and going into the bottom of the seventh, held a one-run lead over the Wildcats. But that lead slipped away quickly, as Rabun County rallied to win, 8-7.
At the plate, Evan Williamson went 2-for-4 at the plate with two doubles. Taylor Boswell had a hit and an RBI, Zaine Hailey walked twice, Ethan Allred went 2-for-4 with an RBI, Sam Williamson had two RBIs, Brandon Rucker went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Nick Keyros went 2-for-4 with a home run, Josh Chumley went 2-for-3, and John Robertson went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Sam Williamson recorded the loss, pitching four innings, giving up four runs and striking out eight.
“We lost our lead, and it kind of snowballed from there,” said coach David Robertson.
East Jackson hoped to turn its luck around in the second game, and managed to keep the score close early on. Going into the seventh inning, the Eagles held a 6-5 lead when the wheels came off.
East Jackson gave up six runs to the Wildcats in the top of the seventh. In the bottom of the inning, the Eagles were able to pick up only one more run and Rabun County won 11-7.
At the plate, Evan Williamson went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double. Boswell had two hits and two RBIs in four trips to the plate and A.J. Howard drove in three while going 2-for-4. Haley, Keyros, Chumley and Beck each had hits and Beck drove in a run.
Keyros recorded the loss, giving up five runs and striking out six in six innings.
“We kind of blew our lead,” Robertson said. “But I can’t say enough about how these kids have matured.”
Despite an up and down first season, Robertson says he’s very proud of his team.
“I can’t say enough about how they fought,” he said. “I’ve been quoted in the past saying that we play like we’re behind all the time, because these kids have so much heart and so much fight in them that no lead is secure when you’re playing East Jackson. We scored seven runs in one inning against Dawson County, and fell one run short. That’s a testament to what kind of heart and what kind of fight these guys have in them.
“These young guys here have made me a better coach without a doubt. I can’t say enough how proud I am of them.”
Robertson said along with the focus he put on the field, there was as much focus on how his players did in the classroom.
“I made that a top priority,” he said. “They knew that if they didn’t pass, they wouldn’t play. I think they took that as a challenge. I can sit here and name about four players who were failing a class, and now they’re passing everything. That’s what education is all about. If we can get them to take their academics seriously because they are playing a sport, then that’s the way it’s supposed to be. They need to understand that if they can’t pass, then they can’t play.”
Robertson said that his team accomplished a lot in their inaugural season.
“That 7-17 record is no reflection on how much these kids grew, not only as students but as athletes and as men,” he said. “That’s part of my baseball philosophy that I want them to be disciplined. Basically, what we’re doing as coaches and educators is to mold men that will be productive in society and be good husbands and providers for their family. That’s one of my goals, and that’s why I got into coaching.”