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Baseball Royals Upset No. 1 Shenandoah

EMU junior Beau Banglesdorf
The Royals baseball squad found a big way to snap a five-game losing streak Friday, knocking off undefeated and No. 1 Shenandoah in Harrisonburg by a 4-3 score. Eastern Mennonite scored four runs during a two-out rally in the seventh and limited the Hornets to just four hits in the upset.

Earlier in the week the Hornets moved into the top spot in the D3baseball.com national poll, but EMU made that stay a short one.

Freshman starter Logan Toney (Chesterfield, Va./Manchester) and reliever Chris DeWald (Williamsburg, Va./Lafayette) limited the powerful SU offense early on, but allowed single runs to score in three straight innings as the Hornets were up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh.

After two quick outs, the Royals found a way to string their hits together. B.J. Mortimer (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) and Ryan McAlister (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) each reached on singles.

Dylan Smith (Sterling, Va./Park View) slapped a base hit through the left side to get the men on the board as Mortimer scored. Designated hitter Beau Banglesdorf (Stafford, Va./Mountain View) followed with a hard-hit double to left center, chasing home both runners to tie the game at 3-3. More importantly, Banglesdorf took third base when the Hornets’ cut-off man threw home.

Needing only a single to take the lead, Chris Harpine (Fredericksburg, Va./Colonial Forge) hit a roller towards first, but the Shenandoah first baseman pulled up too early and the ball got past him, allowing Banglesdorf to score the go-ahead run from third on the error.

It looked like the Hornets might take the lead back in the eight as they loaded the bases with a walk, error by DeWald and bunt single. SU’s Mike Smith lofted a fly ball to center field, which Harpine caught and gunned home. Dylan Smith grabbed the ball on the first-base side of home plate and dove back, tagging out the runner in a collision at the plate.

DeWald coaxed out another fly ball to end the inning as Shenandoah left two men in scoring position.

Clinging to the 4-3 lead, the Royals survived two deep fly balls to centerfield in the ninth to get a 1-2-3 inning and seal the upset win.

DeWald (1-1) entered the game in the sixth inning and earned the win for his 3-2/3 innings of work. He allowed one run on three hits. Despite walking four batters and hitting two more, Toney only gave up two runs on one hit in his 5-1/3 innings.

Eastern Mennonite outhit the Hornets 10-4 in the game, led by three singles from Dylan Smith. Banglesdorf finished 2-4 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and the go-ahead run.

McAlister also finished with a pair of singles.

The win ends the five-game skid for EMU and bumps their record to 7-17. No. 1 Shenandoah falls to 19-1. The Royals return to ODAC play on Saturday as they host Guilford College in a twinbill starting at 12:00pm.

Story by James De Boer
Category: Athletics, Baseball
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