The Royals had a successful start to their seven-game road swing, coming from behind to beat Emory & Henry in 12 innings in their ODAC opener in Emory, VA. The Wasps controlled the chilly nightcap 10-0, putting EMU at 1-1 in conference play after the day.
Eastern Mennonite's baseball team heads to Florida after the doubleheader and will play five games over the coming week at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
EMU 8, Emory & Henry 7 – 12 innings
The Royals were trailing 4-0 after six innings, but got the ball rolling with a homerun from Jonathan Estrada (Miami, FL/Doral Academy) in the top of the seventh. The host Wasps got the run back in the bottom of the frame the keep the edge at 5-1, but EMU broke through in the eighth.
Ryan McAlister (Bridgewater, VA/Turner Ashby) hit an RBI single to start the rally as the men scored five runs to take their first lead. Estrada added a two-run double, and then two more runs scored on a pair of EHC errors, putting EMU up 6-5.
McAlister and Justin Rodriguez (Miramar, FL/Pace) hit back-to-back two-out doubles in the ninth to give the Royals an insurance run. The score came in handy, as the Wasps tied the game with a two-run double in the bottom of the ninth, locking the score at 7-7.
Estrada led off the 12th with inning with a single, was sacrificed to second by B.J. Mortimer (Mechanicsville, VA/Lee-Davis), and then scored on a single from Kyle Armstrong (Greenville, VA/Riverheads).
Reliever Casey Harlow (Louisa, VA/Louisa County), who gave up the game-tying runs in the ninth, retired the final 11 Wasps he saw to secure the 8-7 win. Harlow struck out four in 4.1 innings and improves to 3-1.
Estrada paced the 12-hit attack, going 4-6 from the plate with three runs and three RBIs. He finished a triple shy of the hitting for the cycle. McAlister, Armstrong and Adam Posey (Poquoson, VA/Poquoson) each had a pair of hits. Mortimer reached base twice on walks.
Emory & Henry 10, EMU 0
The men fell behind early in game two as well, but never mustered a comeback. EMU had just three hits in taking the loss.
Eastern Mennonite is 8-6 overall and 1-1 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference as they head for warmer weather in Florida. The Royals start play at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Tuesday, taking on Beloit in Winter Haven, FL.