Once they got things clicking, EMU's baseball men were in control in Wednesday's big 10-5 win over Bridgewater College. The Royals scored 10 of the final 11 runs in the game, picking up an impressive victory over their rivals while also snapping an eight-game losing streak.
Eastern Mennonite (11-14/2-8 ODAC) stays at home this weekend, hosting Guilford College for an ODAC doubleheader. First pitch on Saturday is at noon.
Against Bridgewater (11-16/4-7 ODAC), the men fell in an early hole as starting pitcher Tyler Campbell (Luray, Va./Luray) was touched up for four runs over the first two innings. But the sophomore worked himself out of trouble before EMU's offense picked him up.
Ryan Hedrick (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) led off the bottom of the second with a walk and the Royals quickly loaded the bases. Kyle Salladay (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) shot a two-run single to left center to start the scoring, Griffin Stanley (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) brought in one with an RBI groundout, and Joe Hall (Gladys, Va./Rustburg) tied the game with an RBI single.
The Eagles' bullpen momentarily stopped EMU's offense, and Campbell also settled down, retiring six of seven batters in the third and fourth innings to keep the score locked at 4-4. BC took the lead back with a single run in the fifth before the Royals finally took over in the sixth.
Salladay led off with a double and Dean Lowery (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) laid down a bunt single to put runners on the corner for the top of the batting order. With Stanley at the plate, the men dropped the squeeze play and Salladay came home to tie the score. After Hall singled, Zach Roberts (Stuarts Draft, Va./Riverheads) put a single into right to bring in Lowery. The Eagles sent the throw home and Roberts alertly went for second. The BC defense originally tried to get Roberts out, but Hall then broke for home and both men ended up safe as the Royals jumped in front, 7-5.
The men struck again in the seventh, combining two hits with two Eagle errors to bring in three more for the final 10-5 margin.
Ryan Brewer (Martinsville, Va./Franklin County) allowed just one hit over the final innings to preserve the win. Tristan Childress (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) improved to 1-0 by pitching a scoreless sixth and seventh. Campbell finished with a no decision, allowing eight hits and all five runs in 5.0 frames.
Salladay had a huge day, batting 3-4 with three runs and three RBIs. He also stole a base. Roberts was 3-4 with a walk and RBI, while Hall also reached base three times. Stanley collected three RBIs. Kyle Mathews (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) and David Meehan (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) each scored twice.
Coach Ben Spotts said his team is much better than their win/loss record might show: