Despite an outburst of power, the Royals couldn't buy a break in Saturday's ODAC doubleheader at Emory & Henry, committing three errors in each game of a two-set loss. EMU slides to 10-12 overall and 1-7 in the ODAC with their sixth straight loss.
The men look to turn things around on Tuesday, when they host ODAC-rival Shenandoah University at 3:00pm in Harrisonburg. The 18-1 Hornets are the No. 1 team in the most recent D3baseball.com national poll.
Emory & Henry 8, EMU 7
Balls were flying out of the yard in the opener, especially for a Royals team which had only hit four homeruns in their previous 20 games. They hit three in this game.
Senior Kyle Salladay (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) hit his first collegiate homer in the second, but EHC hit their own in the bottom of the frame. Joe Hall (Gladys, Va./Rustburg) went yard in the third, putting EMU back up, 2-1.
The Wasps tied the game in the fourth, and then took advantage of a collision between two EMU fielders on what would have been the third out of the frame to score two runs. The next batter launched a three-run homer, as five unearned runs scored to give the home team their first lead, 7-2.
The Royals regrouped and struck back in the sixth, started by Damon Frazier's (Waynesboro, Va./Wilson Memorial) leadoff homerun. Salladay added a two-run double and Griffin Stanley (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) brought him home with a two-out double, cutting the margin to 7-6.
Salladay was back at it in the eighth, hitting a one-out double and then coming home on a single from Dean Lowery (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) to tie the score.
The men nearly got out of a wild bottom of the ninth unscathed in a frame which started with EHC's leadoff batter being hit by a pitch. The Royals threw out one runner at home after the throw from a bunt single went into right field, but a two-out hit brought in one final unearned run in the walk-off decision.
Eastern Mennonite out-hit the Wasps, 14-12, but hurt themselves with three errors. Six of Emory & Henry's eight runs were unearned.
Frazier gave up two earned runs on 10 hits in 6.0 innings. John Dudley (Raphine, Va./Riverheads) pitched the final 2.2 and took the loss.
Salladay broke out of a slump by batting 3-4 with three runs and three RBIs. He hit two doubles and a homerun. Ryan Hedrick (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) also had three hits and scored a run. Hall and Frazier each finished with two hits, including a homer.
Emory & Henry 8, EMU 3
Frazier hit his second homerun of the day to start the scoring, hitting a two-run shot in the first, but the game went downhill from there.
The Wasps scored once in their half of the first, and then used a pair of two-out errors to take a 3-2 lead in the second. Another run in the third gave the home team a 4-2 lead.
Lowery knocked an RBI double in the fifth, but Emory & Henry responded with three doubles in the bottom of the inning to dent home four times for an 8-3 margin.
EMU had at least one base runner in each of the final three innings, but could not put any more runs on the board.
Frazier led the offense with a 2-4 effort, knocking out his third homerun over the past four games. Lowery was 2-3.
Tyler Campbell (Luray, Va./Luray) gave up seven of the runs in 4.2 innings to take the loss. Tristan Childress (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) and Ryan Brewer (Martinsville, Va./Franklin County) threw in relief.