The EMU Diamond Royals scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take the lead against Averett on their way to a 6-5 win on Tuesday. The game, originally scheduled for Wednesday, was pushed to Tuesday to avoid potential inclement weather.
The Royals do not play again until they head to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for their Spring Break trip. They play their first games against St. Elizabeth in a 7-inning doubleheader on Monday, March 2 at 10:00am.
EMU (7-4) found the scoreboard early in this game as they scored in the first inning. After the first two batters singled their way on base, John Judy (Shanks, W.V./Hampshire) hit a ground-rule double to left center field to bring the first run of the game home.
Brendon Barrett (Virginia Beach, Va./Ocean Lakes) started for the Royals as he threw the first two innings scoreless, but ran into some trouble in the third. An error allowed the leadoff batter to reach base then the next two followed with a single and a fielder's choice. The next three Averett (0-9) batters hit RBI singles before a double play got EMU out of the inning. Barrett finished with four strikeouts in three innings.
The Royals would go quiet for the following three innings as the Cougars added another run in the top of the fifth to increase their lead to three.
Blake Schaar (Orange, Va./The Covenant School) started the sixth inning with a leadoff single and Robert Guenther (Falls Church, Va./George C. Marshall) drew a walk to put two men on. A fielder's choice took Guenther off the bases, but the speedy Garrett Howard (Fredericksburg, Va./Courtland) replaced him at first as Schaar moved to third. Corey Willis (Fredricksburg, Va./Massaponax) drove a ball up the middle for an RBI single then another fielder's choice put EMU's leadoff hitter Jordan Jones (Saxe, Va./Randolph Henry) on base for Willis.
Jacob Merica (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham) stayed hot at the plate as he singled in Howard and advanced to second on the throw home. Ray Tricarico (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) hit a line drive single to left field that was deep enough to score Jones and a diving Merica who beat the throw home to give the Royals the lead back.
Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) singled to lead off the seventh inning. He advanced to second on a failed pick off attempt and stole third base as Guenther walked. Howard bunted for a single up the first base line to bring home Lindsay adding an insurance run in the late innings.
An Averett solo home run with two outs in the top of the ninth added some pressure, but the next batter flew out to center field to wrap up the game.
DJ Williams (Newport News, Va./Tabb) entered the game in relief in the top of the fifth and finished the game to earn the win. He threw five innings allowing only four hits while getting a strikeout.
Merica and Tricarico both went 3-5 and combined for 3 RBI. Lindsay and Howard each had two hits and scored a run.