Emory & Henry rallies for two in the ninth for a 10-9 win over Western
EMORY, VA (Feb. 26) — The Western Connecticut State University baseball team scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a 9-8 lead, but then surrendered two in the bottom of the ninth to drop a 10-9 decision at Emory & Henry on Sunday afternoon.
From the desk of Joe Matthews - Emory & Henry SID
The Emory & Henry College Baseball Team (2-5) needed all nine innings to come from behind and pick up a 10-9 victory over Western Connecticut State University (1-2) Sunday afternoon at Porterfield/Devault Field. With the win, the Wasps took the series two games to one over the Colonials.
Western Connecticut State got on the board with two runs in the top of the second inning. A one-out home run by Chris Smith opened the scoring for the Colonials, and a Mike Yates drew a walk with the bases loaded to go up 2-0. In the third, WCSU got another run on a single through the left side by Tim Nelson.
In the top of the fourth, the Colonials extended their lead to 6-0. With two runners on and one out, Conor Bierfeldt tripled to left centerfield and Zack Dandrea grounded out on the next at bat to score Bierfeldt from third.
Emory & Henry finally began to click offensively in the bottom half of the fourth frame. Sophomore shortstop Ricky Sowers (Blacksburg, Va.) reached safely and advanced to third on a throwing error by the pitcher. A groundout by senior first baseman Jesse Blizzard (Independence, Va.) scored Sowers to make the score 6-1.
E&H got two more runs in the fifth. With two runners on and one out, senior second baseman Josh McMillian (Amelia, Va.) hit a double to left field, scoring both runners.
The Wasps came away with four runs on five hits in the bottom of the sixth frame to take a 7-6 lead. A two-RBI double to right centerfield by junior centerfielder Eric Houff (Blacksburg, Va.) and a two-run single by freshman third baseman Bransen Christopher (Hickory, N.C.) put Emory & Henry up for the first time of the afternoon.
In the seventh, E&H extended its lead to 8-6 on a single up the middle by Blizzard, plating Sowers for the second time in the game.
Western Connecticut State responded with three runs in the top of the eighth to retake the advantage 9-8. With a runner on first and one out, Bierfeldt homered to centerfield. Dandrea made it back-to-back round trippers for the Colonials, with a towering shot to left center.
Emory & Henry was unable to score in the bottom of the frame but held WCSU scoreless in the top of the ninth as well. With only three outs remaining, the Wasps started to put together their run.
After Blizzard drew a leadoff walk and sophomore designated hitter D.J. Russ (Greensboro, N.C.) was hit by a pitch, sophomore right fielder Brogan Hoover (Stephens City, Va.) reached safely on a fielder’s choice sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Senior left fielder Brandon Lucas (Riner, Va.) hit a RBI fielder’s choice to the middle infield to put runners on the corners and one out. After intentionally walking Houff to load the bases, McMillian hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring pinch runner Zack Hill (Fries, Va.) to win the game.
Emory & Henry freshman pitcher Colby Gardner (Kingsport, Tenn.) picked up the win for the Wasps, pitching 1.2 innings in relief with just one hit. Senior Will Schulhof (Berryville, Va.) came out of the pen in the fourth inning, throwing three shutout innings to keep the Wasps in the contest as well.
At the plate for E&H, McMillian led the way, going two-for-four with a walk and three RBI. Hoover was two-for-four as well with a run scored. Houff and Christopher each drove in two runs in the win as well.
For Western Connecticut State, Derik Brady went five innings on the hill in the start, allowing just three hits and three runs, but walked three batters and hit one. Chris Alberto suffered the loss in relief. Offensively, Alberto, Yates and Bierfeldt each had three hits on the game with Bierfeldt leading the team with four RBI and three runs scored.
Emory & Henry will remain at home on Tuesday afternoon when the University of Virginia’s College at Wise visits Porterfield/Devault Field. First pitch between the Wasps and Mountain Cavaliers is set for 2:00 p.m.
Emory & Henry 10, Western Connecticut 9
Western Connecticut. 021 300 030 - 9 15 2 (1-2)
Emory & Henry....... 000 124 102 - 10 10 1 (2-5)
Pitchers: Western - D. Brady; J. Fedak(6); C. Bierfeldt(7); C. Alberto(9).
Emory & Henry - J. Washburn; W. Schulhof(4); L. Ball(7); C. Gardner(8).
Win-C. Gardner(1-0) Loss-C. Alberto(0-1) T-3:06 A-120
HR Western - C. Bierfeldt; Z. Dandrea; C. Smith.