EMU splits two
The Royals snapped a three-game losing skid Saturday, taking a walk-off win from Emory & Henry in the first game of an ODAC doubleheader in Harrisonburg. The men had to settle for a split, however, as EHC stole the decision in the nightcap.
EMU 5, Emory & Henry 4
Game one was all about pitching, as Eastern Mennonite scored the only run in the first four innings with an unearned tally in the bottom of the first.
Remington Hedgepeth led off the EHC half of the fifth with a game-tying homerun. He then put the Wasps in front with a two-run double in the sixth. A third run scored on an error, and Emory & Henry had a 4-1 lead.
EMU went down in the order in the sixth and seventh, but finally put some hits together in the eighth. The Royals got two runners on after the second out, and Beau Banglesdorf (Stafford, VA/Mountain View) made the visitors pay with a double down the right field line, cutting the lead to 4-3.
In the ninth, the men responded with their backs against the wall, again with two outs. Ryan McAlister (Bridgewater, VA/Turner Ashby) walked and B.J. Mortimer (Mechanicsville, VA/Lee-Davis) singled to get two runners on. Chris Rodriguez (Miami, FL/Pace) followed with a tough roller between short and third, and EHC’s shortstop tried to force McAlister out and third. His throw was just wide, however, saving the game and loading the bases. Dylan Smith (Sterling, VA/Park View) then shot a single to right center, bringing home McAlister and Mortimer to grab the 5-4 win in dramatic fashion.
Casey Harlow (Louisa, VA/Louisa County) started for EMU and only allowed three hits before wearing out in the sixth and allowing three more. He was charged with all four runs, but also struck out eight. Logan Toney (Chesterfield, VA/Manchester) (1-1) earned the win, facing ten batters in his three innings of work, giving up just one hit.
Chris Rodriguez was 3-5 at the plate including a pair of doubles. Mortimer and Justin Rodriguez (Miramar, FL/Pace) each had a pair of hits. Smith scored twice and knocked in two with his game-winning hit. Banglesdorf also had a pair of RBIs.
Emory & Henry 9, EMU 7
After the quick-moving opener, game two really slowed down by the middle frames. A lot of that had to do with the offense, as the teams combined to score in seven of the nine innings.
The Royals strung together two hits with an EHC error to score three runs in the first, taking the first lead. EMU hit a speed bump in the third, allowing the Wasps to score three times to tie the game at 3-3. The men had an error, passed ball and wild pitch in the frame.
The opponents started trading single runs in their next at-bats, leaving the score tied at 5-5 after five innings.
In the sixth, Eastern Mennonite played small ball. A leadoff single followed by three straight bunt singles put the men back in front and loaded the bases. But EHC got a double play with a fly ball and throwing an EMU runner out at the plate. Then a groundball ended the threat, despite the Royals going ahead 6-5.
The lead was short-lived. The Wasps got back-to-back homeruns in the seventh, and ended up scoring four runs to jump back in front, 9-6.
EMU rallied again in the eighth, putting runners on the corners to start the inning. Chris Rodriguez knocked in one run with a one-out single, making it 9-7. With two away, Justin Rodriguez nearly tied the game, ripping an inside pitch just inches foul down the third baseline. After he walked to load the bases, Banglesdorf struck out, leaving the men down by two.
The ninth sailed by without event, as both teams went down in order and the Wasps took the win.
The Royals had a slight 14-13 edge in hits, led by Chris Rodriguez with his second straight three-hit game. He also scored twice and drove in one run. McAlister also had three hits with an RBI.
Justin Rodriguez went 2-3 with two walks. The third baseman had two RBIs and a run. Banglesdorf also had a pair of RBIs. Justin King (Lititz, PA/Warwick) and Mortimer each had two hits.
Adam Posey (Poquoson, VA/Poquoson) (1-2) took the loss in relief, as he lasted just 1/3 of an inning, giving up both longballs in the seventh and getting tagged for three runs. Chris DeWald (Williamsburg, VA/Lafayette) and Ryan Henschel (New Market, VA/Stonewall Jackson) combined to keep EHC scoreless the rest of the way. The EMU pitching staff did rack up 13 strikeouts.
Eastern Mennonite settles at 7-11 after the split, including 1-3 in the ODAC. The Royals host non-conference games against Stevenson on Wednesday and Greensboro on Friday before welcoming in Lynchburg College next Saturday for another ODAC twinbill.