March 29, 2012

Baseball Falls in Slugfest at EMU 13-17

Written by Matthew McKinney

HARRISONBURG, Va.—The Southern Virginia University baseball team gave up a six-run lead at Eastern Mennonite University on Thursday losing 13-17 to the Royals in an offensive slugfest.

Southern Virginia (10-13) led 12-6 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning before Eastern Mennonite (8-17) exploded for eight runs taking a 12-14 lead, which the Royals would not relinquish the rest of the way.

The Knights, who defeated EMU 17-2 in Covington, Va., last Thursday, looked on their way to another blow out of the Royals after taking an early 8-2 lead fueled by a seven-run top of the second.

First baseman Dale Brown (Mesa, Ariz.) sparked the Knights in the second with a lead-off triple followed by an RBI single later in the second, scoring right fielder Brandon Alexander (Oakley, Calif.). Brown finished 3-for-5 from the plate leading all Knights in hits.

Four Southern Virginia players knocked in runs during the second including catcher Barrett Price (Georgetown, SC), left fielder Mitch Mantle (St. George, Utah), and center fielder Andrew Snider.

Snider finished with a team-high three RBI and pushing his team-leading total to 29 on the season. Price and Mantle both knocked in two RBI on two hits apiece.

Southern Virginia added four more runs—two in the fourth and two in the sixth—making it 12-6 after five-and-a-half. The Knights' two runs in the sixth came on a two-run homer from Alexander, the sophomore's fifth homerun of the year.

The Knights could not recover, however, from EMU's huge bottom-of-the-sixth rally as the Royals' eight rusn came on seven hits against three different Southern Virginia pitchers.

EMU right fielder Chris Rodriguez capped off the Royals' onslaught with his go-ahead two-RBI triple off Justin King (San Ramon, Calif). 

King (2-3) took the loss giving up two earned runs on one hit without getting an out.

The Knights made it a one-run game in the top of the seventh when Snider drove in his third RBI game, but EMU added three more insurance runs and the Royals' relief pitcher Casey Harlow pitched three innings of one-run ball to go along with four strikeouts to earn the save. 

Southern Virginia's starting pitcher Ed Greenhalgh (Roy, Utah) didn't last long pitching just 2.2 innings, giving up six runs—five earned—while walking three in the no-decision start.

The Knights have now lost three of their last four games, despite having leads in two of their three losses.

Baseball will continue its season-long, ten-game road trip at Bluefield College in a doubleheader on Tuesday, Apr. 3 beginning at 5 p.m. EST.