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.