Royals Score First And Power Past Hood, 14-6

Joe Hall got plenty of fist bumps from Coach Nic Love during his sixth straight multi-hit game. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Joe Hall got plenty of fist bumps from Coach Nic Love during his sixth straight multi-hit game. (photo by Scott Eyre)

A third straight offensive outburst powered EMU's baseball men to a 14-6 win over Hood College Wednesday afternoon in Harrisonburg.

Eastern Mennonite (15-15) tied their season high with 21 hits, including seven doubles. Since breaking an eight-game skid with a 10-5 win over Bridgewater last Wednesday, the Royals have won five of six games, scoring nine or more runs in each win.

Each starter had at least one hit, led by Dean Lowery (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield), who had a career effort with four hits and five RBIs. Both were career highs for the senior second baseman.

Joe Hall (Gladys, Va./Rustburg) batted 4-6 with a couple of runs, bumping his batting average to .445 and passing the .442 of Shenandoah's Luke Nussman for the top mark in the conference. Hall won the ODAC batting title as a sophomore in 2015 with a batting average of .423.

In Wednesday's game, the Royals broke open a tight 1-1 game with six runs in the bottom of the fourth. Lowery knocked in the first three runs with a bases loaded double, advancing to third when throw home was wild. Griffin Stanley (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) followed with a triple to the gap in right center, and had a similar heads up play as he came home on an errant throw in from the outfield.

Hood (11-15) scored three runs in the fifth to get within 7-4, but Eastern Mennonite kept on coming with three of their own runs. Lowery again had a big hit, shooting a two-RBI single to push the lead to 10-4.

The Royals had another big inning in the seventh. Kyle Mathews (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) had a two-run double to cap a four-run frame, making the score 14-5.

Zach Roberts (Stuarts Draft, Va./Riverheads) finished 3-4 with two walks, scoring two and knocking in two more. Mathews was also 3-4 with two runs and RBIs. Senior Ryan Hedrick (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) batted 2-4 with a walk, scoring two runs and stealing his first base since his freshman season.

Bailey Hall (Daleville, Va./James River) started and had a solid 4.0+ innings, earning a no-decision after exiting during Hood's rally in the fifth inning. Reliever Kyle Johnson (Nathalie, Va./Rustburg) allowed just one earned run in 4.0 innings to earn his first win since 2015.

Eastern Mennonite is at home on Saturday, hosting nationally ranked Randolph-Macon in an ODAC doubleheader. Start time is 12:00pm as the seniors are celebrated beforehand on Senior Recognition Day. The 12-man group is the first recruiting class of Coach Ben Spotts.

The Royals also host Southern Virginia on Monday in a rescheduled non-conference game.

Coach Ben Spotts said his men have been making in-game adjustments during their recent hot streak: