EMORY, Va. – The Virginia Wesleyan College Baseball Team (15-7, 9-3 ODAC) picked up a pair of Old Dominion Athletic Conference wins over Emory & Henry College (7-21, 3-9 ODAC). The Marlins got a come-from-behind victory in game one, 14-10, and prevailed by a 15-7 score in the nightcap.
Emory & Henry also celebrated Montie Weaver Day on Saturday, honoring the 1927 graduate of the College. Unarguably the greatest baseball player to ever don the blue and gold, Weaver's legacy boasts nearly 10 years in the Major Leagues and he still holds multiple records for the Wasps.
Game One – Virginia Wesleyan 14, Emory & Henry 10
Emory & Henry jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first. A three-run home run by freshman third baseman Eli Straw (Radford, Va.) highlighted the frame.
VWC responded with four runs in the second and scored a trio of runs on a shot to left center by Matt Murray. The Marlins tied things up in the third and took an 8-5 lead after the fourth.
The Wasps got a run back in the fourth thanks to a sacrifice fly by freshman left fielder Ben Sexton (Lebanon, Va.). E&H retook the lead in the fifth thanks to three hits and two errors. Senior designated hitter Ben Barnett (Knoxville, Tenn.) drove in a pair with a single up the middle. In the bottom of the sixth, senior right fielder Brandon Lineberry (Hillsville, Va.) tagged a solo home run to make the score 10-8.
Two scoreless innings brought up the ninth and Virginia Wesleyan's last time at bat. The Marlins put up six runs to erase the deficit and give themselves a four-run cushion. Daniel Petro had a two-run pinch-hit single as VWC pounded out seven hits in the inning alone.
Deon Hammond went four-for-five with three RBI and a run scored while C.J. Lindsay and Randy Neisz added three hits each. Sean Grieser earned the win in relief, pitching 3.2 innings and allowing just one run on four hits with a strikeout.
Emory & Henry freshman catcher Connor Stevenson (Stephens City, Va.) had three hits and two runs while Straw drove in three runs on two hits with two runs of his own. Lineberry added two hits, two runs and two RBI. Junior Nick Lesnak (Blountville, Tenn.) suffered the loss in 4.1 innings of relief, allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts.
Game Two – Virginia Wesleyan 15, Emory & Henry 7
The Marlins scored two in the top of the first on a home run by Taylor Erby. Emory & Henry answered in the second with a two-run shot by Straw to tie things up. In the top of the third, Virginia Wesleyan got a trio of runs to open up a 5-2 lead. Erby got his second two-run homer of the game to highlight the inning.
After E&H scored a run in the bottom of the fourth to get the score to 5-3, VWC tacked on four straight over the next two innings to lead 9-3. The Wasps closed the gap to 9-5 on a two-run home run by sophomore shortstop Holden Watkins (Ridgeway, Va.) in the bottom of the sixth but the Marlins scored six runs in the final three innings for the final 15-7 score. Lineberry hit his second homer of the day, another solo shot, in the seventh.
Erby went four-for-six with five RBI and four runs scored while Neisz added three hits, three RBI and two runs. Nick Ott earned the win in relief for Virginia Wesleyan, pitching 3.2 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
Four different Emory & Henry players had multi-hit games, led by Straw, who went two-for-four with three runs and two RBI. Watkins scored a run on two hits with two RBI while sophomore first baseman Carson Bryant (Hickory, N.C.) had two runs on two hits. Junior Garrett Butler (Knoxville, Tenn.) allowed nine runs in five-plus innings pitched, taking the loss.
Emory & Henry will be on the road on Monday when it travels to face Maryville (Tenn.) College. The game, which has been postponed multiple times due to bad weather, is set to begin at 4:00 p.m.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15