MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – The Berry College Baseball Team (2-0) picked up a pair of victories on opening day over visiting Emory & Henry College (0-2) Saturday afternoon at William R. Bowdoin Field. The doubleheader, which was scheduled as a pair of seven-inning games, was won by game scores of 8-4 and 1-0 (8) by the Vikings.
Game One – Berry 8, Emory & Henry 4
The Wasps got off to a hot start in their first at bats of the year, scoring two runs in the top of the first on a two-run double by sophomore first baseman Carson Bryant (Hickory, N.C.). Berry answered with a run in the bottom of the inning and went up 3-2 in the third on a two-run homer by Ben Jernigan.
E&H reclaimed the advantage, 4-3, in the top of the fifth with two runs, but a run by the Vikings in the bottom half knotted the score at four runs apiece.
In the bottom of the sixth, Berry got four runs to make the final margin, 8-4. A two-run double to right field with two outs by Slade Dale highlighted the inning.
Parker Austin picked up the win on the mound for Berry, scattering two runs and three hits over three innings of work while E&H sophomore Ryan Mullins (Wise, Va.) made his first appearance since 2014 in relief after an injury last year. The right-hander took the loss for the Wasps, as senior Aaron Sparks (Troutman, N.C.) got the start, pitching five innings.
Game Two – Berry 1, Emory & Henry 0 (eight innings)
In the nightcap, the two teams managed just six total hits in the first seven innings, forcing extra baseball. Dusty Tyson hit a one-out single to get things started and a fielding error put him on second base. Dale provided what would be the winning hit for the second game in a row, this time an infield single, bringing Tyson home from second.
William Gibbons earned the win for the Vikings pitching three innings of one-hit ball in relief, striking out four. Emory & Henry junior Garrett Butler (Knoxville, Tenn.) went six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits for the no-decision as freshman Zach Shepherd (Christiansburg, Va.) took the loss.
At the plate for Emory & Henry, Bryant and junior second baseman Hunter Jeffries had a pair of hits on the day with Bryant driving in two. Three different Berry players had two-hit, two-RBI games in game one, led by Jernigan who went two-for-two with two runs scored and a walk as well.
Emory & Henry will have a chance to get in the win column against Berry on Sunday. The Wasps and Vikings will play one nine-inning game at Bowdoin Field beginning at 1:00 p.m.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15