With a resounding 12-5 victory over Southern Virginia Wednesday night, the Royals notched the most wins in the program in more than a decade and avenged an earlier loss to the Knights at the same time.
Eastern Mennonite never trailed on the neutral Casey Field in Covington, VA, and picked up their 15th win for the season. It is the most wins since the Royals finished 29-13 in 2002, which was current Philadelphia Phillie Erik Kratz's senior campaign. In the 45-year history of EMU baseball, 15 wins is also the seventh-highest win total in a season.
Justin Rodriguez (Miramar, FL/Pace) got the offense rolling with a two-out RBI single in the second. SVU tied it at 1-1 with a run in the third, but after that the Knights never seriously threatened.
Kyle Armstrong (Greenville, VA/Riverheads) led off the fourth with a triple, starting a three-run rally which was capped by a two-run single from Adam Posey (Poquoson, VA/Poquoson). The men scored one more run in the fifth before stringing together four hits to put up a four-spot in the sixth and push the edge to 9-1.
Another round of small ball in the seventh allowed the Royals to tack on three more runs for a 12-1 cushion.
Freshman Ryan Tierney (Front Royal, VA/Warren County), in just his first collegiate start and second overall appearance, was masterful on the mound before wearing out in the ninth. The Knights got nearly half of their hits in their final at-bat, and scored four runs off Tierney and two relievers before EMU closed the door on the win.
Six of the Royals' batters reached base at least twice, as the men had 15 hits and four walks. Armstrong batted 4-5, scoring twice and knocking in two more runs. Jonathan Estrada (Miami, FL/Doral Academy) was 3-6, also with two runs and two RBIs. Catcher Brian Vinniski (Vernon, NJ/Vernon Township) finished 2-3 with two walks, and scored twice.
Posey had a pair of hits and collected four RBIs. Phillip Jordan (West Point, VA/Christchurch) was 2-4 with a walk and touched home three times.
Tierney improves to 1-0, giving up three runs on seven hits in 8.0+ innings of work. Brad Matthias (Swansboro, NC/Swansboro) came in for two quick strikeouts to end the SVU rally in the ninth.
Now 15-21 overall, the Royals return to ODAC play to close out the year. They host Washington and Lee in a single game tomorrow afternoon at 4:00pm, and then take on Roanoke in a doubleheader on Saturday, starting at noon.