Ray Tricarico (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th inning to send the Royals home with a victory over No. 8 Randolph-Macon in game two of Saturday's doubleheader.
The Royals move to 12-15-1 on the season and the conference split bumps them to 6-8 in ODAC play with just three weeks to go in the season.
EMU returns home this week for a couple non-conference match-ups. They host Southern Virginia at 4:00pm on Tuesday then Hood on Wednesday at the same time.
Randolph-Macon 9, EMU 2
Game one was a pitchers duel for the first three innings before Randolph-Macon (14-6/10-3 ODAC) opened up a three run inning in the top of the fourth. Then another four runs in the top of fifth inning provided enough offense for the Yellow Jackets to hold a lead with pitcher Nick Roth on the mound. Roth threw seven innings and gave up five hits and one walk while striking out four.
An error in the bottom of the first inning allowed the first EMU run to score, then Robert Guenther (Falls Church, Va./George C. Marshall) hit an RBI single in the seventh which scored Tricarico to account for both runs.
EMU 5, Randolph-Macon 4 – 12 innings
The Royals were able to get on the board first in game two after struggling at the plate in the first game. Corey Willis (Fredricksburg, Va./Massaponax) got the offense going after picking up two hits in game one. He hit a two-out single through the right side to get on base in front of Guenther who found some grass in deep right field for an RBI double.
Connor Lutz (Colonial Beach, Va./Colonial Beach) took the mound for the Royals in game two and threw the first two innings scoreless before running into a jam in the third inning. Randolph-Macon loaded the bases with one out, but a fielder's choice brought in just one run in the inning as Lutz was able to pitch his way out of the situation.
The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases again in the top of the fifth inning with the first three batters of the inning reaching base. A sacrifice fly scored the first run then a fielder's choice scored a second. Brendon Barrett (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) entered the game in relief and got the first batter he faced to roll into a double play to get the Royals out of the inning. Barrett threw the next 2.2 innings scoreless allowing just one hit.
Randolph-Macon extended their lead to three in the top of the eighth inning when an RBI double with one out brought a run across, but Gage Riddick (Gates County, N.C./Gates County) was able to strikeout the next two batters and minimize the damage.
The bottom of the eighth inning is where the momentum changed in this game. Jordan Jones (Saxe, Va./Randolph Henry) led off the inning with a bunt single down the first base line that he beat by a step. Then Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) stepped into the box and only needed to see one pitch, as he took his best swing of the day to launch a ball high and deep over the left field fence for his eighth home run of the season as the Royals cut the deficit to one.
Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) extended the inning by reaching first base on a throwing error with two outs. That put a runner on base for Willis who took advantage of the blunder and laced a double into the right-center gap that scored Lindsay.
Ethan Mathews (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway) came in to pitch in the top of the ninth. The first batter he faced was the top of the order for Yellow Jackets, but Mathews mowed right through their lineup retiring the first eight batters he faced to account for three scoreless innings in relief without allowing a hit.
Jones was the catalyst for the offense again in the bottom of the 12th inning, leading it off with a single up the middle. Zach Roberts (Stuarts Draft, Va./Riverheads) was able to drop a sacrifice bunt down with two strikes to move Jones up to scoring position before Lee was intentionally walked to bring up Tricarico.
Tricarico hit a line drive into left field that the speedy Jones was able to read the whole way, racing home to score the winning run for the Royals.
John Judy (Shanks, W.V./Hampshire) picked up the win for EMU coming in to throw a scoreless 12th inning in relief.
Tricarico finished 3-5 at the plate with the one RBI and a walk. Lee was 2-5 with the home run and a double for two RBIs. Willis finished with three hits including the double while Jones had two hits and scored twice.