EMU's baseball men showed no signs of rust despite an 11-day break in games, pounding out 28 hits in Tuesday's sweep of a doubleheader of seven-inning games. The two wins in the set against Juniata, rescheduled from last Saturday because of snow, push the Royals to 3-2 on the season.
Just days removed from a week full of rain, snow and sleet, Eastern Mennonite celebrated a 70-degree day with the convincing victories, christening their remodeled ballpark complete with upgrades of a brick backstop, netting around home plate, expanded dugouts and a seating patio around the backstop.
The Royals hit the road on Wednesday for a single game at Averett University. Game time is 3:00pm.
EMU 4, Juniata 2
The Royals' balanced approach was in full effect in the opener, as they spread out nine hits and four scoring plays.
Juniata actually scored first with a pair of runs in the top of the second, before the men got one back with an RBI groundout in the bottom of the frame.
Zach Roberts (Stuarts Draft, Va./Riverheads) shot a leadoff single to center in the third and EMU was back in business. Two more singles and a Juniata error brought in a pair of runs, with an RBI single from Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) putting the men in front.
Roberts smacked an RBI double in the fourth, building the 4-2 lead.
Starter Damon Frazier (Waynesboro, Va./Wilson Memorial) took over on the mound and retired nine straight batters before Ryan Brewer (Martinsville, Va./Franklin County) coaxed a double play and strikeout to earn the save in the seventh.
Roberts reached base all four times he stepped to the plate with three hits and walk. He also scored once and drove in another. Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) batted 2-3 with a run.
Frazier struck out six in 6.0 innings, giving up just three hits for his first win of the season. It was Brewer's second save.
EMU 14, Juniata 8
The Royals turned on the offensive pressure in the second game, as every starter provided at least one hit towards the team total of 19.
After dodging a bullet in the top of the first, as Juniata had a three-run homerun negated when the batter passed a runner on the base paths, EMU took over.
With two outs, Adam Marston (Woodstock, Va./Miller School) got things rolling with an RBI single. Billy Quinn (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) smashed a two-run double off the wall in left center, and the Royals put up a five-spot to go ahead, 5-1.
Four straight walks to open the second turned into a five-run rally for Juniata, but EMU struck back in the bottom of the third. Another four-hit rally turned into three more runs, as the men went back up 8-6.
Two more in the fourth made it 10-6 before Frazier went yard on a solo shot in the fifth. It was EMU's first homerun of the season. With two on the sixth, Frazier decided it was a good time for his team's second homer, towering a ball into the gusty jet stream out to left for the final tally.
Marston had four singles to key the team. Frazier finished 3-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Tyler McFadden (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) scored three times, while Quinn accounted for four runs.
Tristan Childress (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) was not charged with any runs in his 3.0 innings of relief and earned the win. Michael Wilhite (Hershey, Pa./Lower Dauphin) allowed only an unearned run in his 2.0 frames.