EMU falls on Senior Day
Thursday’s Senior Recognition was perfect on many levels, all except for the final outcome. After getting rained out on Wednesday, Eastern Mennonite’s baseball men honored their five seniors under beautiful skies, but then visiting Washington and Lee stole the show by handing the Royals a 9-3 loss.
Senior starter Andy Richter (Perkasie, PA/Christopher Dock) was let down by his defense in the top of the first, as a two-out error started a two-run inning for the Generals.
Freshman Justin Rodriguez (Miramar, FL/Pace) got the men’s first scoring frame rolling by leading off the fourth with a single. Dylan Smith (Sterling, VA/Park View) then singled to put two on. Rodriguez came home on a balk which also sent Smith to third. Beau Banglesdorf (Stafford, VA/Mountain View) was hit by a pitch and stole second. The Generals tried to throw out Banglesdorf, allowing Smith to trot home to tie the game at 2-2.
Washington and Lee rallied again in the fifth to go back up 5-2. The visitors had the bases loaded with one away, but EMU turned one of their three double plays to get out of the jam. Another three runs in the sixth made it 8-2.
Ryan McAlister (Bridgewater, VA/Turner Ashby) scored on an RBI single from B.J. Mortimer (Mechanicsville, VA/Lee-Davis) in the seventh, but the Royals left the bases loaded. W&L got the run back in the eighth, pushing the lead back to 9-3.
EMU threatened in the bottom of the eighth, but was cut short with an inning-ending double play. The men could only manage a two-out single in the ninth and took the loss, which officially eliminated them from postseason contention.
Eastern Mennonite was out-hit 15-10 and hurt themselves with four errors. Richter lasted 5.0-plus innings in his final performance at home, as he was charged with eight runs and took the loss. Ryan Henschel (New Market, VA/Stonewall Jackson) had a solid relief appearance, giving up just one run and two hits in 4.0 innings. He struck out four.
Rodriguez had nearly half of the team’s hits, going 4-5 with a triple and a run. Smith went 2-3 with a run scored. He also walked twice, improving his EMU career record to 70 walks.
The game was the final home contest for Smith, Banglesdorf, Richter, Justin King (Lititz, PA/Warwick) and Joshua Martin (Crozet, VA/Western Albemarle).
The Royals slip to 11-25 overall and 4-12 in the ODAC. They need one win in their season-ending doubleheader at Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday to better last year’s win total.