Sophomore Bailey Hall (Daleville, Va./James River) threw EMU's first nine-inning complete game in four years to help the Royals to a split in ODAC action against Emory & Henry Sunday afternoon in Harrisonburg.
Behind Hall's arm, Eastern Mennonite moves to 11-11 on the year and 2-5 in the conference. They return to the diamond on Tuesday, playing a single road game at No. 16 Shenandoah in Winchester. First pitch is 4:00pm.
The Royals have home games scheduled Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.
Emory & Henry 16, EMU 13
Sunday's opener had a quiet start before the offenses took off midway through. The Royals led 4-0 after four innings, boosted by an opposite field, three-run homer from Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh).
With two outs in the fifth, Emory & Henry pieced together six straight hits, coming out of nowhere to take a 5-4 lead. EMU plated two in the bottom of the frame to get the lead right back.
That held until the seventh, when the Wasps had another string of singles and doubles in a six-run explosion, taking an 11-6 lead. They added two more in the eighth for what looked like an insurmountable 13-6 margin.
Ray Tricarico (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) started the bottom of the eighth with a walk, and Coach Ben Spotts began utilizing his depth chart by bringing in a handful of pinch hitters. After a pair of strikeouts, EMU still only had runners on first and second. Corey Willis (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) loaded the bases with a walk, before Jacob Merica (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) started a streak of five straight hits with his RBI single through the right side.
Damon Frazier (Waynesboro, Va./Wilson Memorial) smacked a two-run single to left and Tricarico capped a seven-run rally with his two-RBI double to right, tying the score at 13-13.
Closer Ryan Brewer (Martinsville, Va./Franklin County) came in to pitch in the ninth but gave up a leadoff single. After a sacrifice and groundout, the Wasps brought in the go-ahead run with a two-out single. Two more unearned runs came across to build the three-run margin.
The men had some hard-hit balls in their final at-bat, and put two runners on base with one away, but a pair of ground balls ended the threat.
The teams combined for 37 hits in back-and-forth opener. Frazier and Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) each had three of EMU's 16. Frazier finished 3-5 with three RBIs and two runs, while Lindsay was also 3-5 with two runs and an RBI.
Lee hit a homer and double, knocking in three and scoring twice. Merica had a pair of singles, while also driving in and scoring two. Tricarico earned three walks and a single, matching Merica with two runs and two RBIs. The catcher also threw out three would-be base stealers during the first four innings.
Each of EMU's four pitchers allowed at least two runs. Brewer (0-2) took the loss. Frazier was tagged for eight runs in 6.0+ innings of a no decision.
EMU 4, Emory & Henry 1
After a three-hour first game, a fantastic performance from Hall (3-2) kept things moving in the two-hour nightcap. The big right-hander got into a rhythm on the mound, firing five 1-2-3 innings. After giving up a run in the fourth, Hall retired 17 of the next 18 Wasps he faced.
Eastern Mennonite's offense put at least one runner on base in each of the first five innings, and took a quick lead on Tricarico's two-out single in the first.
Frazier led the third off with a double and came home on Lindsay's two-bagger. Willis brought in his fellow freshman with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.
After Emory & Henry scored their lone run in the fourth, Brendon Salladay (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) added an insurance tally with a two-out single in the fifth. Hall took over from there.
Hall's complete game was the time an EMU pitcher went the distance in a nine-inning game since current pitching coach Adam Posey did it as a senior in 2014. It was one of just four complete games by an ODAC player so far this season.
First baseman Adam Marston (Woodstock, Va./Miller School) helped out his pitcher and infield by picking a number of throws out of the dirt.
Lindsay had three of EMU's 11 hits, notching his second straight three-hit game. Willis and Salladay each had a pair of singles.