Visiting Southern Virginia scored first and slowly pulled away Tuesday, handing EMU's baseball team an 11-5 non-conference loss.
The Royals fall to 11-22 as they prepare for the final stretch of the regular season with six home ODAC games. Despite a 2-12 mark in conference play, the men are still in the picture for a spot in the eight-team ODAC Tournament. After Wednesday's hosting of Shenandoah, EMU's final five games are all against sub-.500 teams who are also fighting for one of the final playoff berths.
Eastern Mennonite hosts Hampden-Sydney on Saturday for Alumni Recognition Day, followed by one game against Bridgewater and two against Lynchburg. All of the games are in Harrisonburg.
After a quiet start to Tuesday's game, Southern Virginia broke through with a pair of two-out runs in the third. Billy Quinn (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) brought in one for the Royals with an RBI groundout in the fourth, but the Knights charged again in the fifth, this time scoring four runs to blow open a 6-1 margin.
Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) and Corey Willis (Fredericksburg, Va./Massaponax) again got things rolling when they batted in the sixth. Quinn came through with another RBI groundout, and Justin Parrish (Yorktown, Va./York) brought in Willis with a sacrifice fly, getting the Royals within 6-3.
But the men lost all their momentum in the seventh, when a pair of leadoff walks turned into another four-run rally for SVU.
Eastern Mennonite snuck in an unearned run in the bottom of the frame, but left the bases loaded. Blake Sargent (Suffolk, Va./King's Fork) knocked in EMU's final run in the ninth.
Willis batted 3-for-4 with a double and scored once. Daniel Scott (Moneta, Va./Staunton River) added a trio of singles. Lee had two hits, stole two bases and scored two times. Jacob Merica (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) reached base twice and scored both times.
Starting pitcher Austin Carroll (Chester, Va./Matoaca) gave up six runs in 5.0 innings and fell to 0-4. Ethan Mathews (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) was the most effective reliever with his scoreless sixth inning. Spencer Laitinen (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton) allowed just an unearned run over two frames of work.