Royals Earn Impressive Split On Senior Day

(l-r) Seniors Tyler McFadden, Daniel Scott, Michael Wilhite, Zach Roberts, Ethan Mathews, Ryan Brewer, Riley Wesp, Kyle Wilkinson, and Paul Wilson. (photo by Savannah Bontrager)
(l-r) Seniors Tyler McFadden, Daniel Scott, Michael Wilhite, Zach Roberts, Ethan Mathews, Ryan Brewer, Riley Wesp, Kyle Wilkinson, and Paul Wilson. (photo by Savannah Bontrager)

The EMU Diamond Royals were able to hang on to the lead in game two of their doubleheader against Roanoke to come away with the split Saturday on Senior Recognition Day. The win moves the Royals to 15-19-1 on the season and improve to 9-10 in the ODAC with just three conference games remaining.

Heading into the final week of play, EMU maintains a hold on eighth place in the conference standings.  The top eight teams make the ODAC Tournament. EMU sits just one game behind Shenandoah and Lynchburg, who are tied in sixth. Washington and Lee (7-10) sits behind Eastern Mennonite, but plays a doubleheader at ODAC cellar dweller Emory & Henry on Sunday.

The Royals play their final home game of the year on Tuesday against Bridgewater. Game starts at 4:00pm and will be the Rowdy Royals game where all of EMU's student athletes will be in attendance.

Roanoke 16, EMU 5
EMU got on the scoreboard first when a wild pitch scored a run. Roanoke (16-16/13-6 ODAC) used a two-run double to jump in front in the top of the third.

Tyler McFadden (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) tied the game up with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth for the senior's first career home run.

The Maroons responded with six runs in the top of the fifth that was highlighted by a two RBI double for Cale Agee then adding another run in the top of the sixth.

The Royals struck for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ray Tricarico (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) brought in the first run on an RBI single then Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) hit an RBI double. Corey Willis (Fredricksburg, Va./Massaponax) brought in a third run on a sacrifice fly, but EMU would strand two runners on base while getting back within four runs.

Another six runs in the top of the eighth inning was too much for the Royals to come back against as Roanoke was able to finish out the game.

Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester), Lee, and Tricarico all went 2-4 and each scored a run. McFadden finished 1-3 with the home run and RBI also walking once. Senior Riley Wesp (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) threw two scoreless innings in relief striking out two batters.

EMU 8, Roanoke 7
The game one offensive momentum for the Royals carried into game two as they were able to strike early. Jordan Jones (Saxe, Va./Randolph Henry) started the game with a single up the middle. A single by Lindsay and a walk to Tricarico quickly loaded the bases with two outs. Back-to-back bases loaded walks to Willis and McFadden brought in the first two runs. Robert Guenther (Falls Church, Va./George C. Marshall) drove in two more on a single to right field before the Maroons were able to get out of the inning.

After two quick outs in the top of the second, a double, triple, then single brought two runs across for Roanoke as they cut the EMU lead in half.

Jones led off the bottom of the second as well, getting another leadoff single. He stole second base and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Lindsay.

The Royals added two more runs with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. McFadden and Billy Quinn (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) worked their way on base with singles then scored on a double by Jones to center field.

Connor Lutz (Colonial Beach, Va./Colonial Beach) held the Maroons scoreless from the third to the seventh inning before running into a jam in the eighth. Two singles followed by a triple added two runs before Ryan Brewer (Martinsville, Va./Franklin County) came on in relief for Lutz. Roanoke added an RBI single before a strikeout would end the inning.

Jones got it going again in the bottom of the eighth with a leadoff single eventually getting to third base. Tricarico hit a double in the right center gap to score Jones and add an insurance run for EMU.

Roanoke did not quit going into the ninth inning down by three runs. A single and an error put two runners on base with one out before an RBI single put the tying run on base. A sacrifice fly scored the second run, but the tying run would get stranded at first as Brewer was able to get the final batter to fly out to center field to end the game.

Jones drove the offense finishing 4-5 at the plate scoring three times and picking up two RBIs with a stolen base. Tricarico was 1-2 with an RBI and three walks.

Lutz threw his longest outing of the season to pick up his third win. He went 7.1 innings giving up five runs while only allowing one walk with three strikeouts. Brewer earned his first save throwing the last 1.2 innings while striking out two.

Senior Recognition
The EMU baseball program honored its nine seniors in pregame ceremonies for their contributions made during their time: Tyler McFadden, Daniel Scott (Moneta, Va./Staunton River), Zach Roberts, Michael Wilhite (Hershey, Pa./Lower Dauphin), Ethan Mathews (Harrisonburg, Va./Broadway), Ryan Brewer, Riley Wesp, Kyle Wilkinson (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax), and Paul Wilson (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence).