West Side got just what the doctor ordered in Wednesday's 1A-2 South Conference showdown versus South Side Bee Branch, which entered the game undefeated against fellow Class A opponents and ranked No. 1 in at least one statewide coaches' poll.
Following two disappointing league losses to Bradford and Midland, the Eagles bounced back with a vengeance by doubling up the Hornets 12-6 in Greers Ferry behind seven strong innings from pitcher Bryce Hipp, who limited South Side to five hits and only one earned run while striking out three.
Hipp, a junior, also led the Eagles (10-10, 6-3) in the batter's box, where he finished 3-for-4, including a double, triple, 4 RBI, 2 runs scored and a stolen base.
West Side overcame a shaky start defensively. The Eagles committed four errors in the first three frames, leading to four unearned run.
“I am so proud of these guys for hanging in there today,” said West Side Coach Shane Davis. “We knew we were due to bust out of it offensively and we picked a good day to do it against one of the best if not the best team in Class A. Bryce had a great individual performance both on the mound and at the plate he did a good job of pitching to contact.
“After that shaky start the guys really made all the plays behind him. Hopefully we can carry this over to the postseason which starts next week and not let complacency set in, which is something you worry about with such a young team. We start three freshman and three sophomores,” added Davis.
Mason Treece (2-for-4), Austin Kirkland (2-for-4) and Tyler Cowley (2-for-4) each finished with two hits for West Side. Treece also collected 3 RB1, a run and a stolen base. Kirkland, Ben Hargrove (1-for-3) and Jimmy Thomas each scored 2 runs for the Eagles, while Cowley also scored a run.
South Side fell to 14-6 overall and 6-1 in conference play. West Side returns to action on Monday, when they host Class 1A No. 2 ranked Midland for Senior Day. Opening pitch is set for 4 p.m.