HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Eastern Mennonite University Baseball Team (11-6, 3-1 ODAC) picked up a pair of Old Dominion Athletic Conference victories over visiting Emory & Henry College (4-15, 1-3 ODAC) Saturday afternoon at the EMU Baseball Field. The Royals took game one by an 11-7 score and eked out a 4-2 victory in game two to complete the sweep.
Game One – Eastern Mennonite 11, Emory & Henry 7
The Royals got on the board with single runs in the bottom of the first and second innings. After Emory & Henry closed the gap to 2-1 with sophomore designated hitter Holden Watkins' (Ridgeway, Va.) sacrifice fly in the fourth, a solo home run by Kyle Mathews in the bottom of the frame made the score 3-1.
EMU exploded for six run in the fifth, taking advantage of five hits, two errors and a walk. Zach Roberts had a two-RBI single to right center to highlight the frame as the Royals went up 9-1.
Emory & Henry responded with three runs in the top of the sixth as senior right fielder Brandon Lineberry (Hillsville, Va.) had a leadoff home run and freshman third baseman Eli Straw (Radford, Va.) tagged a two-run shot two batters later to cut the margin to 9-4.
Two more runs in the bottom of the sixth pushed Eastern Mennonite's lead to 11-4 as Kyle Salladay plated a pair with a double. Emory & Henry got its final three runs in the eighth, trimming the lead to 11-7 on four hits a walk and a sacrifice fly, but would get no closer.
Four different Royals had three hits in the game led by Salladay and Kyle Armstrong with two runs and two RBI. Armstrong picked up the win, scattering four runs on six hits with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched.
Straw had two runs, two hits and two RBI while Lineberry scored twice on two hits. Senior left-hander Aaron Sparks (Troutman, N.C.) suffered the loss, allowing nine runs on 12 hits in five innings.
Game Two – Eastern Mennonite 4, Emory & Henry 2
Three scoreless innings provided got the game going before Emory & Henry went up 1-0 in the fourth thanks to a RBI groundout by freshman first baseman Luke Shepherd (Knoxville, Tenn.). The Royals tied it up in the bottom of the fourth as Armstrong came around third on a wild pitch.
Eastern Mennonite took a 4-1 lead in the sixth thanks in part to a two-run double to left center by Ryan Hedrick. Salladay provided the other RBI, driving in Hedrick with a single up the middle.
In the top of the eighth, the Wasps got some offense going but could only manage one run, as Lineberry drove in Watkins. E&H forced EMU to strand two runners in the eighth and got their leadoff batter on in the top of the ninth, but a double play put the cuffs on the Emory & Henry rally, 4-2.
Armstrong added three hits and two runs for the Royals while Hedrick had two hits, two RBI and a run scored. Ryan Brewer allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings pitched to pick up the victory.
Straw went three-for-four for Emory & Henry while Watkins and sophomore centerfielder Josh Macek (Concord, N.C.) had two hits each. Junior Garrett Butler (Knoxville, Tenn.) was effective on the mound, allowing just one earned run on six hits with seven strikeouts in his complete game, but two errors proved to be costly.
Emory & Henry will step out of conference play on Monday when it travels to face off against Maryville (Tenn.) College. The game is a makeup from the original Wednesday, February 24 date and is set for a 3:00 p.m., first pitch.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15