East Jackson baseball coach Scott Myers found himself taking ice cream orders Friday.
It’s a deal he’s always had with this teams. Win three games in a week and there will be some kind of culinary reward in store.
“You get three wins in a week, I’m going to take care of you somehow,” Myers said on Friday.
After two losses to open the season, a young East Jackson team is riding an early-season hot streak with three-straight wins in a busy three-day stretch.
The Eagles no-hit Riverside Military in an 11-1 win at home last Tuesday (Feb. 23), rallied to beat Rabun County 6-5 last Wednesday (Feb. 24) and then routed Riverside again 12-1 on the road Thursday (Feb. 25) to improve to 3-2.
“We talk about intensity and purpose and effort and attitude,” Myers said. “Control what you can control and do everything you can with the intent of getting better. Just compete. (Last) week, I thought we did a good job of that.”
Dylan Varner and Aiden Holley combined for Tuesday’s no-hitter with Varner working the first five innings, allowing one unearned run and three walks while striking out two batters. Holley then shutout Riverside in the sixth inning, allowing a walk and striking out two batters.
“They’ve done a good job of throwing strikes,” Myers said. “Baseball, for the most part, if you can throw strikes and make routine plays, you’re going to have a chance.”
Payton Garner went 3-for-5 with a home run, double and four RBIs to spearhead the Eagle offense, which finished with 11 hits. Gavin Beck went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. Braxton Standridge went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Kamden Berkeypile was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Against Rabun County, the Eagles rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning and held off the Wildcats in the bottom half. Rabun County put runners on second and third with one out, but East Jackson got out of the inning to preserve the win.
“I was super excited after that game, just for the way we finished and the ability to finish and the ability to get the job down when maybe a week ago we wouldn’t have,” Myers said.
Holley went 3-for-4 with a double and Varner went 1-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs to key the one-run win. Also contributing offensively were Garner, who went 2-for-3, and Randy Smith, who was 2-for-4 with a double. The Eagles finished with 10 hits.
Berkeypile started on the mound and went five innings, allowing three hits, three runs and two walks with four strikes. Cain Alldredge and Garner both worked an inning of relief.
Against Riverside Thursday, the Eagles scored 12 unanswered runs, keyed by a six-run outburst in the of the second inning, in their third-straight win. East Jackson put up a dozen runs despite finishing with just five hits. Holly (1-for-2) and Garner (1-for-3, double) each drove home two runs.
The Eagles threw three pitchers with Brayden Redding (three innings), Garrett Waugh (one inning) and Brayden King (one inning) limiting Riverside to one run and three hits.
Offensively, Varner (.417), Holley (400) and Garner (.375) have emerged as the team’s leading hitters through five games.
“They’ve been swinging it pretty well,” Myers said.
The team had entered last week with a collective .130 batting average. Myers said he told the team, “Guys, that ain’t getting it done.” The team then spent the next several days focusing on its offensive approach.
“Now, they’re seeing some success,” Myers said. “Hopefully, they can just keep riding that.”
East Jackson was scheduled to face Banks County at home Tuesday (March 2) before a game at crosstown opponent Commerce Friday (March 5, 5:55 p.m.).
While three wins out from his team in three days represented a big week, Myers hopes more highlights are forthcoming this spring.
“We’re definitely looking for more down the road than that,” Myers said.