EMU Bats Go Cold In Losses To Averett

Ethan Matthews was solid in two innings but took the loss in game one. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Ethan Matthews was solid in two innings but took the loss in game one. (photo by Scott Eyre)

The Royals were held to just three hits in each of Monday's games against Averett University, dropping both ends of a doubleheader of seven-inning games. The non-conference losses send the baseball men to 11-15 on the season as they prepare for a key stretch of ODAC games, all on the road.

Eastern Mennonite heads to rival Bridgewater College on Wednesday, with first pitch set for 4:00pm. They also play a doubleheader at Guilford on Saturday. All three programs are in the pack of teams fighting for the final berths to the newly expanded eight-team ODAC Tournament.

Averett 3, EMU 0
The had their chances early, but left four men on base, including three in scoring position, through the first four innings.

Averett finally cracked the scoring column first in the fifth, despite not getting the ball out of the infield, and went ahead 1-0. The Cougars pieced together three more hits in the sixth and dented home two more times to make it 3-0.

After back-to-back 1-2-3 innings, the Royals had two runners on base with two outs in the seventh, but a ground ball to third ended the game.

EMU actually put more men on base via hit batsmen and walks (four) than they did with hits (three). Nobody reached base more than one time.

Pitcher Ethan Mathews (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) took the loss by giving up one run in 2.0 innings of relief. Weekend starter Bailey Hall (Daleville, Va./James River) got a little midweek work with three scoreless innings. Michael Wilhite (Hershey, Pa./Lower Dauphin) allowed just one hit over the final 1.2 frames.

Averett 7, EMU 3
The Royals struck first in the nightcap, starting with a leadoff single from Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) in the second. After a walk, Tyler Wilcher (Staunton, Va./Buffalo Gap) put down a sacrifice bunt, but the Cougars botched the play, allowing Lee to come around and score. Billy Quinn (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) made it 2-0 with an RBI groundout.

Eastern Mennonite seemed to have things going in their direction, as starter Austin Carroll (Chester, Va./Matoaca) got two quick outs to start the third. But a pair of singles followed by a walk loaded the bases, although Carroll remained just one good pitch from escaping unscathed. Instead, AU's Nick Winston sent a pitch over the left field wall, and the grand slam homerun gave the Cougars a 4-2 lead and momentum.

After Blake Schaar (Orange, Va./The Covenant School) hit a leadoff single in EMU's half of the third, the next 12 Royals were retired. Averett extended the lead in the sixth by touching up the bullpen for three more runs, despite only hitting one ball out of the infield.

Justin Parrish (Yorktown, Va./York) led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, and back-to-back walks loaded the bases. But three of the next four batters struck out, with only one runner coming home on an RBI grounder from Jacob Merica (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham), as the Royals left the bases loaded with the tying run at the plate.

Parrish was the only Royal to earn his way onto base twice, batting 1-2 with a walk. He touched home once while Julian Bussells (Linden, Va./Warren County), who ran for Parrish in the seventh, also scored a run.

Carroll fell to 0-2 with the loss, giving up four runs in 4.0 frames. Paul Wilson (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence) and Nate Tomlin (Spring City, Pa./Owen J. Roberts) each threw an inning of scoreless relief.