The Royals picked up an impressive split with Lynchburg College, getting a walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth to win game one 6-5. The doubleheader with the Hornets, who are receiving votes in the national poll, was rescheduled twice over the weekend before settling on a sunny Monday afternoon in Harrisonburg.
EMU 6, Lynchburg 5
The two teams locked up for a great back-and-forth battle in the opener. Adam Posey (Poquoson, Va./Poquoson) led off with a walk and scored an unearned run to put EMU in front in the bottom of the first.
Lynchburg plated a pair in the fourth for a 2-1 edge, but an RBI single from Posey tied it up at 2-2. Each team scored a run in the fifth, leaving a deadlock at 3-3.
The Hornets rallied with two outs in the seventh, plating an unearned run with two outs to go back in front. They added another two-out run in the eighth to make the score 5-3.
Leadoff singles from Kyle Salladay (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield) and Griffin Stanley (Roanoke, Va./Cave Spring) started the Royals' rally in the bottom of the frame. Kyle Armstrong (Greenville, Va./Riverheads) came through with the clutch two-out single, bringing in both runners to tie the game once again, this time at 5-5.
In his second inning on the hill, reliever Aaron Hooven (Carroll, Va./Carroll) struck out the side to send the game to the bottom of the ninth. LC's defense then let them down. Back-to-back errors put EMU runners on second and third with one out. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Posey slapped a single to left center to provide the walk-off win.
The senior led the offense by going 3-4 with a walk. He scored once and had two RBIs, including the game-winner. Joe Hall (Rustburg, Va./Rustburg) scored twice and had an RBI. Justin Rodriguez (Miami, Fla./Monsignor Edward Pace) had a pair of hits and Stanley finished 1-3 with two walks and a run.
Hooven struck out four batters in his two innings of relief to earn the win, improving to 3-0. Posey started and pitched 7.0 innings, giving up four runs, although only two were earned.
Lynchburg 8, EMU 1
The nightcap was a different story as the Royals were limited to five hits. Posey led off the bottom of the first and scored on a two-out single from Armstrong for a 1-0 lead.
Lynchburg did all their damage in the middle three frames, scoring three times in the fourth to grab the edge, then adding five more to go up 8-1. The men got runners on second and third base in the eighth innings, but otherwise wouldn't get anyone else in scoring position against LC starter Brandon Miller, who went the distance.
Rodriguez had a pair of singles and was the only batter with multiple hits.
Brett Whitlow (Mechanicsville, Va./Hanover) lasted 5.0 innings on the hill, giving up four runs and falling to 0-3. Logan Toney (Richmond, Va./Manchester), Brad Matthias (Swansboro, N.C./Swansboro) and Charlie Mills (South Hill, Va./Parkview) each had scoreless efforts in relief.
Eastern Mennonite is 14-13 after the split, including 2-9 in the ODAC. They are just one win shy of tying last year's win total, which was the highest since the 2002 season. The Royals stay at home Tuesday afternoon to play Washington and Lee. Game time is 4:00pm.