How do you break a losing skid during which you averaged a respectable five runs per game? Scoring 17 times should do the trick. Eastern Mennonite did that Thursday, taking over with an eight-run sixth inning en route to a 17-13 victory over Southern Virginia.
The Royals committed three errors in the top of the second and fell behind their visitors 8-2. Despite the early deficit, the men kept attacking and chiseled the lead down to 8-6 after three.
SVU scored a pair of unearned runs in the fourth, and added a two-run homer in the sixth, but the Royals again responded with a six-run deficit.
B.J. Mortimer (Mechanicsville, VA/Lee-Davis) led off the bottom of the sixth with a single and the rest of the team followed suit. After a walk, hit batter, and seven hits, Eastern Mennonite grabbed momentum with eight runs, jumping ahead 14-12. Jonathan Estrada (Miami, FL/Doral Academy) ripped a two-run triple in the inning, and Chris Rodriguez (Miami, FL/Pace) also had a two-run three bagger which gave the Royals the lead.
Southern Virginia scored once in the seventh to get within 14-13. The men responded by scoring three more times, and reliever Casey Harlow (Louisa, VA/Louisa County) got a one-two-three inning in the eighth and a rally-killing double play in the ninth to save the win.
The Royals banged out 18 hits combined with seven walks to snap their seven-game losing streak. Chris Rodriguez went 4-5 with a walk out of the leadoff spot. He scored three times and added three RBIs while finishing a homerun short of the cycle. Beau Banglesdorf (Stafford, VA/Mountain View) was 3-5 with a walk and was one of six men to score two or more times. Dylan Smith (Sterling, VA/Park View) was 2-4 with a walk, driving in a game high four runs while scoring twice.
Chris DeWald (Williamsburg, VA/Lafayette) started for EMU and took a no decision after getting chased in the second. Logan Toney (Chesterfield, VA/Manchester), the men’s fourth pitcher, allowed two runs over 2.0 innings and earned the win to improve to 2-1. Harlow struck out four and allowed one run for a three-inning save.
The Royals will look to improve their 1-6 ODAC record when they host Hampden-Sydney on Saturday. The doubleheader starts at noon.