EMU's baseball nearly broke their skid in Tuesday's game against USA South power Ferrum College, but a late-inning explosion doomed the Royals in a 10-8 loss at home.
The Royals led 8-4 after two innings, but they managed just three hits the rest of the way in falling to 10-14 on the season. Ferrum improved to 18-13.
Eastern Mennonite stays at home for a huge conference match Wednesday against rival Bridgewater College. Game time in Harrisonburg is at 4:00pm. Fans are encouraged to take along donations of used sporting equipment being collected for underprivileged children as part of NCAA Division III Week.
The Panthers struck first in Tuesday's game, stringing five hits in the top of the first to go ahead 4-0.
EMU nearly wasted a leadoff double from Griffin Stanley (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) in the bottom of the frame until Damon Frazier (Waynesboro, Va./Wilson Memorial) jacked a two-run homerun to left. After back-to-back singles, David Meehan (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) send a bomb to right, flipping the Royals in front 5-4. Kyle Salladay (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) tripled and Dean Lowery (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) added an RBI double to make it 6-4 after one.
The men played small ball in the second, adding one insurance run without a hit before getting one more on an RBI single from Kyle Mathews (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge).
Ferrum plated two in the third to trim EMU's lead to 8-6 before the pitching staffs settled down.
Neither team made serious threats to score again until the seventh, when the Panthers got to the Royals' bullpen on a rally started by a pair of walks. FC put together three hits to score four times, getting back in front, 10-8.
EMU managed just a walk in the seventh and a double in the eighth, as they could not mount a comeback.
Ferrum out-hit the Royals 17-11. Stanley had a pair of doubles and a walk. Mathews also had two hits and drew a free pass, while Salladay went 2-4.
Bailey Hall (Daleville, Va./James River) started on the mound, and pitched well in the fourth and fifth before hitting his pitch limit. Spencer Laitinen (Woodbridge, Va./C.D. Hylton) gave up with two runs during the seventh inning and fell to 1-1 with the loss. John Judy (Shanks, W.V./Hampshire) allowed only one unearned run in 3.0 innings of relief.