Royals Have Lead Before Dropping 7-6 Decision At No. 24 Shenandoah

Ray Tricarico has driven in six runs over EMU's last three games. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Ray Tricarico has driven in six runs over EMU's last three games. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Despite a rain delay of nearly four hours, EMU's baseball men came out ready to play Tuesday night at No. 24 Shenandoah University. The Royals scored first and had a lead of 5-1 before eventually dropping a 7-6 decision to SU.

Eastern Mennonite falls to 11-12 on the year and 2-6 in the ODAC. They face the prospect of another wet day on Wednesday when they host Washington and Lee. Game time in Harrisonburg is set for 3:00pm.

The Royals took advantage of their opportunities early, starting when leadoff batter Jacob Merica (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) struck out but reached first because of a wild pitch. With two outs, Ray Tricarico (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) cashed in on the extra out with an RBI double.

A hit batsman followed by back-to-back errors gave EMU a 2-0 lead in the second.

Shenandoah (11-6/3-3 ODAC) finally got their first run in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out passed ball, but the men hit it big in the fifth. Merica again got things going with a leadoff single. Tricarico followed suit with another two-out hit, this time bringing in two runs. Corey Willis (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) added an RBI double to make it 5-1.

After managing just three hits off starting pitcher John Judy (Shanks, W.V./Hampshire) through the first five innings, the Hornets strung a few at-bats together in the sixth. A two-run homer started a four-run frame, as Judy exited after giving up a game-tying sacrifice fly.

The back-and-forth continued in the next inning, as Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) led off with a single and the Royals loaded the bases with just one away. Justin Parrish (Yorktown, Va./York) took a beanball to score Lee, putting the men back up, 6-5, but they also left the bases packed.

SU opened their half of the seventh with a walk, and earned their first lead of the night on back-to-back two-out RBI hits. The 7-6 lead stuck.

Eastern Mennonite had their chances in each of the final two frames. They loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but a fly ball ended that chance. In the ninth, Willis led off with a single and the Royals had two runners on base with just one out. This time a grounder to third turned into a 5-4-3 game-ending double play.

The men paired nine hits with four walks, but also left 12 runners on base.

Tricarico finished 2-4 with a walk, driving in three runs and scoring one of his own. Lee batted 2-4 with a walk and scored twice. Willis was 2-5 with an RBI and Merica touched home two times. Damon Frazier (Waynesboro, Va./Wilson Memorial) and Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) each had a single and a walk.

Jonathan Nagle (Chesapeake, Va./Portsmouth Christian) took the loss in relief, giving up two runs in 1.1 innings of work. Judy struck out six in his 5.2 frames and Tristan Childress (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) pitched a scoreless eighth.