Offense In High Gear As Royals Steamroll Juniata

Senior Joe Hall hit his first career homerun but still found a few ways to get his uniform dirty. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Senior Joe Hall hit his first career homerun but still found a few ways to get his uniform dirty. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Good hitting and good pitching is a recipe for a win, and EMU baseball men rode the ingredients to a sweep of visiting Juniata College Saturday afternoon in Harrisonburg. The Royals pounded out a combined 36 hits in the twinbill, improving to 3-1 on the season.

Eastern Mennonite returns to action on Tuesday, hosting Messiah College a single game at 2:30pm. The first pitch of the contest was moved up 30 minutes to make sure it could be completed before sunset.

EMU 15, Juniata 1 – 7 innings
In the opener, the Royals set the tone in the first inning. Starting pitcher Damon Frazier (Waynesboro, Va./Wilson Memorial) picked off a walked batter to face the minimum in the top of the frame, and the offense struck a two-out rally to plate three runs in the bottom. David Meehan (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) ripped a two-run double to produce the 3-0 lead.

After a single run in the second, the men blew the contest open in the third, starting with four straight walks. Griffin Stanley (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) and Kyle Mathews (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) each had two-run hits as EMU brought in eight runs to puff up a 12-0 cushion.

Juniata didn't earn a hit until the fourth, and finally scored their lone run in the fifth.

The Royals finished things up with three runs in the sixth, including a two-run pinch hit single from Tyler McFadden (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem). Reliever Spencer Laitinen (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton) struck out the side in the top of the sixth, and John Judy (Shanks, W.V./Hampshire) added a perfect seventh.

Eastern Mennonite banged out 15 hits with nine walks in the opener. Mathews finished 3-4 with a walk, adding three RBIs and two runs. Stanley added three RBIs from his leadoff spot and Joe Hall (Gladys, Va./Rustburg) scored three times.

Frazier improved to 2-0 as the right-hander struck out four in 5.0 innings.

EMU 13, Juniata 6
The offense didn't slow down in the nightcap, firing out 21 more hits in eight at-bats. The teams traded runs in the first inning, and needed just two singles to score a run in the third. Eastern Mennonite took over with a three spot in the fourth, highlighted by Hall's two-run homerun to left, the first of the senior's career.

Juniata got one back in fifth, but the Royals put together five hits in the bottom of the frame to score three more, extending the lead to 8-2.

The teams each scored twice in the sixth, but Stanley led off the seventh with a single and stolen base again, triggering two more scores for a 12-4 cushion. Hall knocked in one more in the eighth and then pitched in the ninth, allowing two runs before getting a game-ending double play.

Eight of EMU's nine starters had at least two hits. Stanley led the charge by going 4-for-5 with a walk, stealing three bases and touching home four times. Hall was 3-5 with three RBIs. Frazier scored three times.

Senior Jake Brown (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) pitched the first four innings to earn the win, as the Royals utilized a staff effort from the mound. Aaron Weaver (Sugar Creek, Ohio/Hiland) and Tyler Campbell (Luray, Va./Luray) each threw a scoreless frame in relief.

Coach Ben Spotts said both his pitchers and hitters did well for an early-season effort: