EMU's baseball men will head to Ashland, Va., this weekend to take on top-seeded Randolph-Macon in the 2019 ODAC Baseball Tournament.
The teams will play a best-of-three series starting with the first game Friday at 3:00pm. Game two is set for Saturday at noon, with the if-needed game scheduled to follow that day. EMU and the Yellow Jackets split their regular season series in Harrisonburg.
For the Royals, this is their second trip to the ODAC Tournament in the past five years, turning the page after a 12-year drought. Eastern Mennonite clinched the No. 8 seed in the tourney by thumping Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday, 12-2.
With the addition of Ferrum College to the conference this year, the ODAC moved to an eight-team tournament. The top four seeds host best-of-three series this weekend, with the four winning teams advancing to a double elimination bracket set for May 10-12 at Haley Toyota Field in Salem Memorial Stadium in Salem, Va.
EMU (16-21-1/10-12 ODAC) has proven the ability to beat the top teams in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, finishing 5-3 against the top four seeds in the 2019 tourney field. They swept third-seeded Shenandoah during the season and earned splits with R-MC, Roanoke and Virginia Wesleyan, tying the program record with 10 conference wins.
The Royals enter the postseason with one of the better offenses in the league, averaging 7.05 runs per game. They have a .289 team batting average and lead the league with 185 walks. EMU is second in the ODAC with 69 stolen bases. Pitching has been a tougher spot for the team with a 6.54 team ERA, while errors have sunk the Royals' fielding percentage to .937.
Randolph-Macon (22-8-1/16-5-1 ODAC), a team that has been nationally ranked much of the year including a current spot at No. 20, leads the ODAC with 8.90 runs per game and a .311 team batting average. The Yellow Jackets also have the league's best ERA at 3.67 and fielding percentage at .973.