The EMU Diamond Royals split their doubleheader at North Carolina Wesleyan on Sunday to win two out of three in the weekend series. The Royals dropped their first game of the day before coming back to win the second by one run.
EMU plays their home opener on Saturday, Feb. 15 when they take on Southern Virginia in a doubleheader beginning at 12:00pm.
N.C. Wesleyan 3, EMU 1 – 7 innings
The Battling Bishops took the lead in the third inning when their first two batters reached base and came around to score. Tyler Bagent (Chesapeake, Va./Portsmouth Christian) entered the game in relief and got out of trouble for EMU as he threw the next 2.1 innings scoreless.
The Royals cut their deficit in half when John Judy (Shanks, W.V./Hampshire) hit a two-out triple that scored Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) in the top of the fourth. But that would be all the scoring for EMU as they stranded a potential tying runner on third base in the top of the fifth.
Judy had two hits in the game while Corey Willis (Fredricksburg, Va./Massaponax) reached base twice on a single and a walk.
EMU 2, N.C. Wesleyan 1 – 7 innings
Judy started game two on the mound for the Royals as they looked to win the rubber game of the series. After a perfect three innings of work, N.C. Wesleyan worked a leadoff single around to score in the bottom of the fourth to take the first lead for the third game in a row.
Garrett Howard (Fredericksburg, Va./Courtland) bunted his way to a leadoff single in the top of the fifth inning then Jordan Jones (Saxe, Va./Randolph Henry) followed with a single to left field. Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) worked a long at-bat that resulted in a double to left field that scored Howard and moved Jones to third. Then Robert Guenther (Falls Church, Va./George C. Marshall) hit sac fly to score Jones and give EMU the lead.
N.C. Wesleyan loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth before Judy earned a strikeout to end the inning. Jackson Murray hit a one-out triple in the bottom of the sixth, then a walk put runners on the corners. The next batter hit a line drive to right field that was caught by Jones. As he threw home to get the tagging runner, the throw was cut-off and redirected to first base to double-off the runner from first, who was running on the hit with one out.
Nick Jenkins (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) threw a perfect seventh inning to earn the save for the Royals. Judy threw six innings to earn the win, only allowing five hits while striking out four.
Lindsay finished with two hits and a stolen base. Lee reached base twice on a single and hit by pitch.