The EMU Diamond Royals won their first two home games of the season in a doubleheader sweep of Penn St.-Altoona improving to 3-2 on the young season. The teams were originally scheduled to play Saturday, but were moved up to Friday in anticipation of bad weather.
The Royals play their next game on Tuesday, February 19 when they travel to nationally ranked Christopher Newport for a single game starting at 2:00pm.
EMU 7, Penn St.-Altoona 6 – 7 innings
The starting pitcher in game one for EMU was Bailey Hall (Daleville, Va./James River) who threw four innings and struck out seven while giving up two runs, both of which came in the first inning.
Corey Willis (Fredricksburg, Va./Massaponax) led off the bottom of the third inning with a triple as the Royals trailed by two runs. John Judy (Shanks, W.V./Hampshire) brought him in on a groundout to cut the lead.
Jonathan Nagle (Chesapeake, Va./Portsmouth Christian) entered the fifth inning in relief and struck out three batters in a row to give EMU momentum before coming to bat. Jaylon Lee (Newport News, Va./Denbigh) led off the fifth with a triple which started a three run spurt capped by a two-run double by Jacob Merica (Elkton, Va./East Rockingham).
Penn St.-Altoona responded with a grand slam in the top of the sixth by Chase Clouser that put the Lions back in front by two.
The Royals fought back in the sixth as Brett Lindsay (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) found his way on base by an error. Two batters later Lee launched a ball over the left field fence for his first home run of the season which tied the game. Judy kept the inning going with a double then Merica singled him in for the go-ahead run.
Michael Wilhite (Hershey, Pa./Lower Dauphin) came out to finish the game in the seventh after pitching in the sixth inning earning the win in the process while striking out four batters.
EMU 8, Penn St.-Altoona 4 – 7 innings
Ryan Brewer (Martinsville, Va./Franklin County) took the mound for EMU in game two and set a tone early getting out seven of the first nine batters.
The Royals offense began where it left off getting three runs across in the first inning. After the first two batters walked, Zach Roberts (Stuarts Draft, Va./Riverheads) hit a deep ball to left field that was mishandled by the fielder and allowed the two runners to score. Roberts was thrown out trying to get to third base. Lindsay kept the offense rolling with a double then Ray Tricarico (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) singled him in.
Penn St.-Altoona added three runs in the top of the third inning when they hit three singles in a row that were helped by two errors in the inning.
EMU added a run in the next three innings and two runs in the sixth to add on to their lead. Lee singled in a run in the third and fifth innings. Merica singled in Tyler McFadden (Virginia Beach, Va./Salem) who led off the fourth inning with a double. Lindsay tripled in a run in the sixth inning then scored on a double by Tricarico.
Judy threw the last two innings for the Royals. He allowed one run and struck out four batters to pick up the save.
Brewer earned his first win of the season throwing five innings giving up five hits and three runs, none of which were earned.
Lindsay, Tricarico, and Lee each had three hits in the game. Lindsay scored three runs while Tricarico and Lee both had two RBI.