HARRISONBURG, Va. - The Diamond Royals were at home again on Saturday, hosting Penn-State Behrend in their second weekend of non-conference baseball.
After two tough-fought games, the Royals were able to come away with a split against the Lions, moving to 2-3 on the early season.
- After starter Brendon Barrett worked out of trouble in the top of the first, the Royals jumped on the board quickly in the bottom half of the frame. Jordan Jones kicked off the inning with a hard-fought walk, followed by a double to the right center gap off of the bat of Jaylon Lee. Jones made his way from first to home to score the first run of the day.
- Still in the first inning, after Lee advanced to third on a passed ball, Brett Lindsay took advantage of the runner on third and drove a fly ball deep enough into centerfield to notch the Royals' second run of the inning.
- In the bottom of the third, the Royals tacked on with a solo shot from Lindsay, leaving quickly over the left field fence.
- The Lions put together some hits to tie up the contest at 3-3. In the top of the sixth, they hit the big blow, knocking a two-run homer over the left field fence to take their first lead of the day. The Royals would threaten down the stretch, but would ultimately fall in the contest, 5-3.
- Starter Gage Riddick threw a scoreless first and then managed some damage in the top of the second to keep the Royals down just 1-0 early. In the bottom half of the second, the Royals were able to come across for three runs to retake the lead in the second game of the day. With two outs and catcher Ray Tricarico on first via a walk, EMU made some two-out magic happen. After Noah Dahllof was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive, Spraker continued his solid day with a sharp single to right, scoring Tricarico from second for their first run of the game. With runners on second and third, Dylan Cassell made some noise, driving a hard single to left and scoring the two runners to take a 3-1 lead after two innings played.
- Lee started the bottom of the second with a double to right-center, followed by a Lindsay single to score him easily. After making his way to third, Lindsay scored on a sharp grounder to second off the bat of Tricarico to push the Royals' lead to 5-1.
- After back-to-back two-run innings from the Lions, the score was all evened up after four and a half innings of play, but it would not take long for the Royals to take back their lead. Lindsay walked to start off the bottom of the fifth, followed by two quick outs. Natty Solomon came through for EMU, driving a deep double to score Lindsay from second and retake the Royals' lead.
- EMU grabbed an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth after Spraker singled and found his way to second base via a sacrifice bunt from Cassell. Jones forced the Lions' hand with a sharp grounder to first and Spraker saw an opportunity to score, rounding third hard and diving into home to push the Royals' lead to 7-5.
- That was all the Royals' needed, as Braydon Collier worked out a jam in the top of the seventh, with help by a solid play in right from Jones. Daniel Hupart took over in the top of the eighth and recorded the two-inning save with little scare, two strikeouts.
By The Numbers
- Spraker - Went 4-7 on the day, notching an RBI and providing quality speed out of the eighth spot.
- Lee - Went 4-9 with two doubles and an RBI on the day.
- Lindsay - Knocked his first homer of the season in the first game of the day.
- Hupart - Collected his first save of the year with two strikeouts.
The Diamond Royals continue their at-home streak on Tuesday, Mar. 1, hosting Messiah College with first pitch scheduled for 3:00 PM.
Coach Adam Posey