Sophomore pitcher Richard Brereton sends the ball to Brandeis University (Mass.) on April 13. Brereton threw six innings giving up two runs on five hits, three walks and six strikeouts in a losing effort against the Huntingdon College (Ala.) Hawks on April 20. Ayushi Agarwhal/Photo Editor
Emory’s baseball team faltered in a two-game set against the Huntingdon College (Ala.) Hawks on April 20 and 21. After dropping the weekend series, the Eagles fell to a 17-17 overall record.
The Hawks shut the Eagles out, earning a 4-0 victory in the first game of the series, on the Hawks’ home turf on April 20.
Victorious in his prior three starts, sophomore pitcher Richard Brereton began the game for Emory. Brereton threw six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits, three walks and six strikeouts.
Despite Friday’s loss, Pitching Coach Ryan Mossman praised Brereton for his leadership and the elite work ethic he displayed throughout the season.
“[Brereton] has been the catalyst for our team, playing at elite level pitching and hitting,” Mossman said. “He is one of the best leaders that I have been around, and he sets the bar high for others to follow.”
Hawks sophomore pitcher Brooks Freeman dominated the Eagles, holding them scoreless in eight and two-thirds innings pitched. Emory posted only seven hits in the afternoon and committed three fielding errors.
Mossman commended Freeman’s strong repertoire of pitches and his ability to keep Emory off the scoreboard.
“Offensively we struggled, but [Freeman] kept us off balance with a good slider and fastball,” Mossman said. “He was one of the better pitchers that our team has faced this year.”
Traveling home for the team’s Senior Day, Emory suffered a 7-5 defeat to Huntingdon on April 21. Senior pitcher Rhett Stuart began the game on the mound for Emory, allowing three runs in three innings pitched.
Mossman said his pitching staff did not have the best control of their pitches and, as a result, put themselves into too many stressful situations.
“Between walking eight batters and giving up 11 hits, we put on too many baserunners,” Mossman said. “On the mound, we could not keep them off base by either committing errors or throwing bad pitches.”
Playing center field, Brereton tore apart Huntingdon’s pitching in the batter’s box. Brereton drove in two runs on two hits, including his second home run of the season.
Emory went into the ninth inning of the game down 7-3, after yielding two runs in the top of the inning. Despite a late two-run charge, the Eagles ultimately fell short and failed to retaliate.
“Defensively, we could not quite get a stop towards the end,” senior first baseman Bubby Terp said. “We had a couple of guys that were also thrown out of the basepaths, which in a close game is really hard to overcome.”
The Eagles and Hawks were scheduled to play a third game on April 22, but the game was canceled due to inclement weather.
Emory will play in its final series of the regular season at New York University on April 27-29 for a chance to boost their University Athletic Association (UAA) record.
The Emory baseball team swept the Brandeis University (Mass.) Judges in a four-game series on April 13 and 14, advancing to a 17-15 overall record and an 8-4 record in University Athletic Association (UAA) competition.
Emory began the series with an 8-4 victory over Brandeis in the first game of a doubleheader on April 13.
Sophomore pitcher Richard Brereton recorded his third consecutive victory in his past three starts, going seven innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits, three walks and six strikeouts. Batting second in the lineup, Brereton tacked on two RBIs and stole two bases.
The Eagles claimed their first lead in the bottom of the third, after a passed ball allowed Brereton to cross home, giving Emory a 2-1 advantage. Emory held Brandeis at bay for the remainder of the game, walking away comfortably with a four-run triumph.
In the second game of the day, Emory topped the Judges 5-2.
Brandeis jumped out to an early lead after scoring a run in the top of the first. Emory answered in the bottom of the third, thanks to a Brereton RBI double that brought home senior left fielder Josh Rosenblatt.
The Eagles and Judges traded runs in the top of the fourth and bottom of the fifth to knot the game at 2-2. In the bottom of the sixth, junior designated hitter Eric Terry drove in the game-winning run on a single belted into right field. Brandeis failed to answer and dropped their second straight to the Eagles.
In their second doubleheader on April 14, the Eagles didn’t show any sign of fatigue, blowing past Brandeis 10-4.
Emory tallied three runs on three hits in the first inning. Senior shortstop Nick Chambers opened the scoring with a two-run double. In the next at-bat, senior first baseman Bubby Terp drove home Chambers on a single into right field.
Sophomore pitcher James Robertson assumed the starting role and pitched eight solid innings. He allowed one run on three hits, three walks and a career-high 10 strikeouts.
With the offense totaling 10 runs on 13 hits and Robertson following suit with a strong performance on the mound, Emory cruised smoothly to a six-run victory.
Left: Brereton sends the ball to the Judges. In the first half of the doubleheader on April 13, Brereton went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits, three walks and six strikeouts. Ayushi Agarwal/Photo Editor
Pitching coach Ryan Mossman noted Robertson’s terrific outing and the work he has put in to solidify his techniques.
“Robertson had one of our best pitching performances of the season,” Mossman said. “His persistence at working on his craft by working on his changeup and having more confidence in his offspeed pitches have definitely benefited him.”
Chambers said that Robertson’s dominance on the mound energized the offense and encouraged them to perform at the same level.
“Robertson set the tone and characterized our success this weekend,” Chambers said. “When one guy plays like that, the rest of the team feels motivated to follow and take their games to the next level.”
Despite the Judges’ two runs in the top of the first, Brandeis failed to salvage the final game of the series, losing to the Eagles 5-2.
Undeterred by Brandeis’ quick start, the Eagles added two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. The Eagles stole the advantage in the bottom of the third on a RBI single from freshman left fielder Jack Rubenstein.
Emory’s pitching staff recovered after yielding two runs in the first inning and shut Brandeis out for the remainder of the game to secure the four-game sweep.
Mossman said that his pitching staff is taking massive strides in fine-tuning their approaches on the mound both physically and mentally.
“Our staff is taking upon themselves to look for different ways to use their deliveries to deceive batters,” Mossman said.
The Eagles will face Huntingdon College (Ala.) in a three-game series on April 20-22.
Editor’s Note: Brian Taggett (19C) is an associate editor of the Wheel and plays for Emory’s baseball team. He was not involved in the composition of or editing of this article.
Senior pitcher Mack Wilkins winds up the ball for Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) in the second match of a doubleheader on April 8. The Eagles redeemed their initial loss that day with a 4-0 shutout. Sarah Taha/Staff
The Emory baseball team triumphed in three out of four games in a weekend series against the Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) Bears. With the weekend’s results, Emory advanced to a 13-14 overall record and a 4-4 record in University Athletic Association (UAA) competition.
Emory initiated the home series with a 6-3 victory on April 6. Both teams found the scoreboard early, tallying one run a piece in the first inning. The game remained tied at one until Emory built a three-run lead at the bottom of the fourth.
Sophomore third baseman Christopher Stern smacked a leadoff homerun over the left field wall to begin the inning. With three more hits and two WashU errors, Emory added two more runs to grab a 4-1 advantage.
The Eagles maintained the lead for the remainder of the game. Sophomore starting pitcher Richard Brereton supplied the win, pitching seven innings and allowing one run on five hits, four walks and nine strikeouts.
In the second game of the series, Emory survived a late charge from WashU to win the game 8-6. The Eagles amassed a four-run lead in the first inning after WashU hit a batter with the bases loaded, junior left fielder Michael Wilson notched a two-run single and junior catcher Eric Terry stole home.
Building a 6-1 lead, Emory kept the WashU offense quiet until the top of the eighth inning. After seven innings of lights-out pitching, freshman starting pitcher Jack Moore left the game after the Bears loaded the bases with one out in the inning. Moore closed his performance at seven and a third innings, allowing four runs on six hits, five walks and four strikeouts.
WashU tacked on four runs in the top of the eighth, just one run away from tying the game. To answer, senior first baseman Bubby Terp brought home two runs with a double down the left field line.
Terp noted that the team worked on fixing their approaches at the plate, leading to better at-bats with runners in scoring position.
“Our approaches at the plate have led to better situational hitting,” Terp said. “We are a young team, so the more at-bats our guys are getting, the better they feel when they go up to hit.”
Emory allowed one more run in the top of the ninth, but held on to win the game 8-6.
Heading into the final day of the weekend series, WashU topped Emory 11-7 in the first game of a daytime doubleheader on April 8. The Bears dominated the pitch in each of the first five innings and accumulated a 7-4 margin.
The Eagles inched within one run of the WashU lead in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run inning. WashU responded and tallied four more runs in the final three innings. Emory failed to overcome the five-run margin, rounding out the match 11-7.
Contrary to the first game of the doubleheader, Emory shut out WashU, wrapping up the weekend series with a 4-0 victory.
Senior pitcher Mack Wilkins and freshman pitcher Christian Bradley together completed Emory’s shutout, allowing four hits, four walks and eight strikeouts.
Emory jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on RBIs from Terp and Terry. Plagued by errors in the bottom of the fourth, WashU gave up two unearned runs and fell behind the Eagles 4-0. The Eagles cruised to the end of the game, maintaining the 4-0 lead.
Head Coach Mike Twardoski said WashU hurt themselves throughout the series by committing 14 errors in the series.
“Historically WashU is a good team, but this time around they made a lot of mistakes, especially errors,” Twardoski said. “Still, we got timely hits and played well enough to win three out of four against a conference opponent.”
Terp said the team performed better offensively compared to the previous week and saw action from up and down the lineup.
“Our team was able to put together a solid, consistent series hitting the baseball,” Terp said. “We had a lot of guys contribute and put the ball in play, forcing [WashU] to make some plays.”
In a non-conference game on April 10, Emory lost to Oglethorpe College (Ga.) 6-2. The game was tied at two until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Oglethorpe tacked on four runs.
The Eagles will host Brandeis University (Mass.) on April 13-15 in a four-game series.
The Emory baseball team’s four-game slate quickly turned sour after its first win this past weekend. The team dropped the final three games of its series against the Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) Spartans, beginning University Athletic Association (UAA) play with a bleak 1-3 record.
Following a lackluster 9-10 record in non-conference competition, the Eagles needed a strong start to UAA play to keep themselves in the running for a bid to the NCAA Division III World Series.
Emory started the four-game set at Case Western with a 5-2 win on March 30. Sophomore starting pitcher Richard Brereton asserted his dominance on the mound and pitched all nine innings. Brereton struck out six batters and allowed only two runs on six hits and two walks.
Heach Coach Mike Twardoski said Brereton is a consistent pitcher, who is able to keep his composure in difficult situations.
“He fights out there and guys love to play behind him,” Twardoski said. “He threw 130 pitches and was able to maintain his stamina in a gutsy performance.”
The Eagles’ offense recorded five runs on eight hits, two walks and four Case Western errors. Senior shortstop Nick Chambers, sophomore catcher Jacob Greene and freshman center-fielder Michael Edelman all tallied RBIs.
On March 31, Emory dropped both games in an afternoon double-header against the Spartans, losing 12-6 and 4-3, respectively.
In the first game of the double-header, Emory stole a 3-0 lead after the first three innings. Headed to the bottom of the fourth, Case Western claimed its first lead of the game with a four-run inning. The Spartans added eight more runs to take the game easily from Emory.
Emory’s second game of the day ended in a nail-biter. Case Western claimed an early lead, posting three runs in the bottom of the second inning. The Eagles answered quickly, posting two of their own in the top of the third.
The game remained squared at 3-2 until Case Western added one more run in the bottom of the seventh. Emory sophomore starting pitcher James Robertson pitched a solid game, striking out seven and allowing four runs on five hits and four walks.
Aside from allowing three runs in the first, Robertson said he regained his composure and finished with a strong outing.
“As the game went along I got into a groove and hit my stride,” Robertson said. “I honed in my command and recovered from the first inning.”
With their backs against the wall headed to the top of the ninth, Emory nearly tied the game in the final inning. Chambers knocked a one-out single into left field that brought home Edelman and put Emory behind by only one run with runners at first and second. Brereton and senior first-baseman Bubby Terp failed to bring home the runner on second base, and the Eagles dropped their second straight.
Proceeding to the last game of the series on April 1, the Emory bats went silent as Case Western topped the Eagles 4-0. Although the Eagles out-hit the Spartans 6-5, Emory was unable to put runs on the scoreboard.
Freshman pitcher Christian Bradley started the game and allowed four runs on five hits and a walk — all in three innings. Senior Rhett Stuart pitched the remainder of the game and posted five perfect innings, keeping the Spartans hitless while also striking out four batters.
Twardoski recapped the series and noted that the talent on both teams were pretty equal, but one sequence each game was the difference between winning and losing.
“One play a game, if we didn’t get a hit or [Case Western] got a hit, made the difference in the series,” Twardoski said. “Case Western didn’t really outplay us, but we have to learn how to win and hit in the crucial situations.”
Emory will host Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) in a four-game set to be played out on April 6-8.
Editor’s Note: Brian Taggett (19C), an associate editor of the Wheel, plays for Emory’s baseball team. He was not involved in the composition of or editing of this article.
Senior shortstop Nick Chambers awaits a pitch from the Covenant College (Ga.)Scots on March 27. Over his past six games, Chambers amassed 13 hits and 12 RBIs. Yohan Jhaveri/Staff
Over spring break, the Emory baseball team pieced together a 4-1 record, their best so far this season. The team topped Berry College (Ga.), Stevens Institute of Technology (N.J.) and Middlebury College (Vt.), with its sole loss against Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.).
Playing for the first time in more than a week, the Eagles turned the tide against Berry on March 13, winning the game in walk-off fashion. Emory came up short in two prior meetings against Berry, losing 5-0 in their first match and 6-3 in their second.
Down 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Eagles strung together a four-hit inning and tacked on two runs to take the game 6-5. Pinch-hitting for freshman left-fielder Jack Rubenstein, junior NJ Kim started the game knotted at five with a single that drove sophomore Ryan Adelman home.
Following Kim’s RBI single, freshman Michael Edelman, pinch-hitting for sophomore catcher Jacob Greene, smashed a walk-off single up the middle of the infield that brought home senior shortstop Nick Chambers. With Edelman’s walk off, Emory snapped a six-game losing streak that dated back to Feb.18.
Edelman said that his approach in his impressive at-bat was to ensure he was poised for a crucial plate appearance.
“I was preparing for the situation where [the game] was tied, and I’d have to come through for the team,” Edelman said. “When I actually did come up to the plate, I was calmer, and I read the pitcher well.”
Emory continued their late-inning heroics in a high-scoring game against Stevens. The Eagles scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat Stevens 8-5. Leading Emory’s scoring, sophomore third-baseman Christopher Stern drove a three-run homerun over the leftfield wall to cap off Emory’s breakthrough inning.
Chambers contributed two hits and four RBIs in Emory’s eight-run effort. On the mound, junior pitcher Sam Brzowski secured Emory’s win, holding Stevens hitless in two and two-thirds innings.
In a weekend series against Middlebury, Emory’s bats lit up the Panthers, leading Emory to two consecutive 10-run games.
In their first match-up on March 17, Emory thrashed Middlebury 10-2.
The Eagles broke away in the seventh inning, scoring seven runs to build a 10-2 lead. Sophomore pitcher James Robertson solidified the Eagles’ victory, going five and one-third innings, giving up two runs (one earned) and striking out four batters.
In their second game of the weekend on March 18, Emory held off Middlebury, edging a 10-7 victory. Chambers boasted another big afternoon, putting up two hits, including a double and four RBIs.
Over his past six games, Chambers amassed 13 hits and 12 RBIs. Chambers said the hard work he has put in during the season has helped him execute offensively.
“My beginning of the season wasn’t too strong, so I just stuck with the process,” Chambers said. “Having a process and not being results-oriented has allowed me to put together a hot streak.”
As designated hitter, Kim recorded two hits and a walk in three plate appearances. Together, the Emory offense belted 11 hits and walked 10 times.
Head Coach Mike Twardoski said that his team has improved its offensive production with proper execution of fundamentals.
“We are swinging at better pitches and are getting more aggressive in the strike zone,” Twardoski said. “We are starting to see more players driving the ball and seeing the ball better at the plate.”
Riding a four-game winning streak, Emory faltered against Birmingham-Southern on March 21. The Eagles’ starting pitcher, freshman Jack Moore, gave up eight runs in four and one-third innings pitched. Birmingham-Southern tacked on five more runs to defeat Emory 13-6.
Despite a rough day on the mound, Emory’s offense turned in a formidable performance. Junior Michael Wilson pinch hit for Stern in the bottom of the ninth and smacked an RBI triple into left field.
Chambers said the team’s young outfield and pitching staff is still working to hit their stride.
“[The staff have] a lot of potential to improve moving forward,” Chambers said. “Getting reps and games under their belt at the college level will help them become even more consistent.”
Despite allowing eight runs in the final three innings, Emory held off Covenant College 12-10 on March 27. Powering Emory’s offense, Chambers and Greene combined to add seven RBIs. In total, the Eagles recorded 10 hits and walked five times.
With conference play on the horizon, Twardoski said that the team overall has not played well enough in all facets of the game.
“We haven’t played good fundamental baseball so far this season,” Twardoski said. “We aren’t playing well enough running the bases, fielding, pitching and hitting.”
Emory’s game against Covenant concluded the Eagles’ non-conference portion of their schedule. The Eagles will begin University Athletic Association (UAA) play against Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) Friday, March 30.
Associate Editor Brian Taggett is a pitcher on Emory’s baseball team.
Baseball: North Carolina Wesleyan College Bishops vs. Emory University Eagles
Emory’s bats went cold Tuesday night in a 5-0 loss to Berry College (Ga.). Earlier this past weekend, the Emory baseball team went 1-1 in a back-to-back series on the road against the North Carolina Wesleyan College Bishops Feb. 18. Emory overcame a two-run deficit in the final inning of the first game to take home a 7-5 victory and fell to the Bishops 5-3 in the second.
After the split and Tuesday night’s game, Emory’s record is now at 4-5.
Tuesday night, sophomore third baseman Christopher Stern amassed two singles, accounting for Emory’s only hits on the evening. Freshman pitcher Jack Moore put together a strong effort on the mound, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits, no walks and three strikeouts in five and a third innings.
Emory triumphed in the first half of the two-game series, topping the Bishops 7-5. Sophomore pitcher Richard Brereton started the game for the Eagles. After the Bishops blanked the Emory offense in the top of the first, Brereton gave up a solo shot in the bottom of the inning to give the Bishops a 1-0 lead.
Despite the solo blast, Brereton recovered and retired his next five batters. Emory struck back in the top of the third, grabbing a 3-1 lead. Stern put the Eagles on the scoreboard, bringing in a baserunner on an RBI double. Brereton tacked on two more runs with a base hit up the middle of the infield.
Emory maintained its 3-1 lead until the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Bishops bounced back with a four-run inning.
The Bishops’ barrage began with a leadoff single. During the ensuing at-bat, the Wesleyan base-runner sophomore designated hitter Nick Beaver scurried to second base after a wild-pitch and advanced to third base after another single. Unable to work out of the jam, Brereton balked, advancing the third-base runner across home plate.
Matters only became worse for Brereton. His day came to an end after two runners crossed home plate due to a throwing error from senior shortstop Nick Chambers.
Freshman pitcher Jared Gaer came in relief of Brereton and cleaned up the mess, retiring all three batters he faced in the inning and giving up only one more run on a sacrifice fly.
Barring a tie ballgame, the first game of the double-header was scheduled to end in seven innings since the Wesleyan stadium has no lights and the two games had to finish before dark.
Headed into the top of the seventh inning, the Eagles were up against the wall, down two runs with one last chance to bat. Emory rallied, matching Wesleyan’s four-running inning with one of their own.
Stern, senior first baseman Bubby Terp and sophomore second baseman Ryan Adelman all drove in runs. Another Emory baserunner, Brereton, was brought home on a wild pitch.
Gaer kept the Bishops off the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh and locked in Emory’s 7-5 victory.
The Eagles met a different fate in the second game, falling to the Bishops 5-3.
Head Coach Mike Twardoski said that it was difficult for the team to play a double-header after an intense day of traveling and a closely contested first game.
“We traveled eight hours to play a doubleheader and the guys got tired by the second game,” Twardoski said. “In the first game we came out swinging well and our bats were great, but by the second game we didn’t have the same level of success.”
Senior pitcher Mack Wilkins started on the mound for Emory and lasted only two and two-thirds innings after giving up two runs on three hits and three walks. After Wilkins’s start, five other Emory pitchers contributed to getting the team through five and a third innings.
Increasing their margin to five, Wesleyan added one run in the fourth and two in the fifth. In the meantime, Wesleyan’s starting pitcher junior J.D. Makauskas completed seven shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
Twardoski said the team should have competed better against Makauskas and utilized a more effective gameplan.
“We should have hit better and had better gameplans at the plate in the second game,” Twardoski said. “[Makauskas] was a fine pitcher, but we could have easily hit him better than we did since nothing he did was overwhelming.”
The Eagles decreased the deficit in the top of the eighth, scoring three runs on three hits from Brereton, Stern and Terp.
Despite the three-run eighth inning, the Eagles could not to replicate that success in the top of the ninth and lost the game 5-3.
Twardoski said the team needs more contributions from the bottom of the batting order to complement the success of the leadoff hitters.
“Our players at the bottom of the order have to string some better at-bats together,” Twardoski said. “They’re swinging out of the strike right now, but they’re capable of putting some good at-bats together to bring us back to the start of the lineup.”
Sophomore pitcher Richard Brereton said although the Eagles have had a lackluster start, the team is gaining valuable time on the field.
“We’re improving every game and playing well as a team,” Brereton said. “We’re talented and young, we just need experience as the season goes on and we’ll keep improving.”
Terp, Stern and Brereton are Emory’s three most productive hitters thus far. Together they have accumulated more than half of the team’s RBIs. Stern leads the team with a .528 batting average and has tallied the most RBIs with 16.
The Eagles have a week off before they are scheduled to play Birmingham Southern College (Ala.) Feb. 28.
Associate Editor Brian Taggett is a pitcher on Emory’s baseball team.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Jack Moore sends the ball to Oglethorpe University (Ga.), Feb. 13. Ayushi Agarwal/Staff.
Emory baseball delivered a statement win Tuesday night with a 13-1 demolition of Atlanta rival Oglethorpe University. The offensive explosion came on the heels of a lackluster 2-3 start to the season.
Prior to their meeting with Oglethorpe, Emory split a two-game series on the road against the Covenant College (Ga.) Scots, Feb. 9. Through the team’s first five games, the Eagles allowed a total of 36 runs. In comparison, the Eagles began their 2017 campaign 5-0 with only 15 runs allowed.
In the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, the Scots dominated in a commanding 8-3 victory. Covenant jumped ahead early with two runs on four hits and an error against Emory’s starting pitcher, sophomore Richard Brereton, in the first inning.
Covenant added one more run in the bottom of the second, establishing a 3-0 lead. Despite giving up three runs in the first two innings, Brereton found his stride on the mound in the third and fourth innings, striking out two Scots in each.
Emory reduced the deficit in the top of the fourth after sophomore third baseman Christopher Stern’s two run triple found the gap between the center and right fielders.
Breathing down the necks of the Scots with the score at 3-2, the Eagles quickly lost momentum in the bottom of the fifth when Covenant extended the lead by four runs. Brereton started the inning on the mound but was quickly sent to the bench after a Covenant two-run home run with no outs. In relief, freshman pitcher Jared Gaer allowed two more runs, one unearned.
Down five, Emory was unable to stage a comeback. Both teams scored one more run as the Scots coasted to an 8-3 win, their first on the season.
Head Coach Mike Twardoski said that the team struggled to limit bad innings and string together effective at-bats in the first game.
“[In] the first game, we gave up too many hits in a row and they scored multiple runs in two different innings,” Twardoski said. “We got single hits in the first and therefore weren’t able to drive too many players home.”
The Eagles turned the tables on the Scots in the second half of the back-to-back, claiming a 10-4 victory.
Much like the first game, the Eagles found themselves playing from behind early. Covenant pounced on Emory in the first, scoring four runs on five hits and an error. Emory’s starting pitcher, senior Rhett Stuart, saw his day come to an early close after the ugly first inning.
Entering the game in the second inning, freshman pitcher Christian Bradley salvaged the game for the Eagles. In his three innings of work, Bradley kept Covenant hitless and struck out three batters. Bradley gave credit to his defense and cited a number of situations when they backed him up on the mound.
“Brereton in centerfield made an amazing play to take away a potential double,” Bradley said. “First baseman [senior] Bubby Terp was in the right place at the right time when Covenant hit a hard line drive at him.”
Offensively, the Eagles hit their stride in the fourth and fifth innings. Stern scored from third base on a ground out and freshman left fielder Jack Rubenstein scored on a wild pitch in the fourth, trimming the lead to 4-2.
Twardoski said that Stern has been one of Emory’s “hottest players” thus far, carrying a .632 batting average with a home run in his first five games.
In the fifth, the Eagles blasted Covenant with a six-run breakout inning. Senior shortstop Nick Chambers initiated the scoring after launching a double into left, bringing home an Emory baserunner. Brereton (playing centerfield in game two) delivered the biggest at-bat of the afternoon, driving in three Eagles off a double into centerfield.
Emory didn’t look back after they built an 8-4 lead in the top of the fifth, holding Covenant scoreless and adding two more runs of their own in the final two innings.
Emory’s pitching improved after they allowed five hits in the first. Bradley, along with relief pitchers sophomore Michael Leeder and junior Charlie Redovian, held Covenant hitless for six consecutive innings.
Bradley said that many of the team’s early struggles were due to inexperience and an injury to the team’s “ace,” junior pitcher Billy Dimlow.
“Dimlow is out indefinitely with elbow issues,” Bradley said. “We have lost so many pitchers from last year, so we’re a very young staff that is inexperienced, but also has a lot of potential.”
Twardoski emphasized the team’s lack of consistency early in the season.
“Whenever I analyze the players on this team, it’s obvious that we have a lot of talent,” Twardoski said. “We have to be a lot more consistent considering we haven’t started off the season the way we wanted to.”
The performance against Oglethorpe was unquestionably a step in the right direction, with the Eagles pounding in nine runs in the first inning alone.
The Eagles’ Feb. 10 game against Covenant College was postponed due to inclement weather. Emory will travel to Rocky Mount, N.C. for a series against North Carolina Wesleyan College Feb. 17.
Associate Editor Brian Taggett is a pitcher on Emory’s baseball team.
The Emory baseball team is going full speed ahead into the Statcast era of baseball with the hiring of new Pitching Coach Ryan Mossman. The 23-year-old newcomer said he has plans to take Emory’s pitching staff to the next level using advanced analytics.
Despite having no prior experience in coaching, Mossman fits a growing trend in baseball programs at both the professional and collegiate levels — utilizing physics to more effectively determine players’ strengths and weaknesses.
Mossman said his experience with baseball analytics began when he worked over the summer as an intern at TrackMan, a company that produces the trailblazing technology changing the face of baseball through advanced statistics. Along with the more popularly known Statcast, TrackMan is a force in the growing interest among baseball programs throughout the country in delving into analytics.
Observing a lack of utilization of these groundbreaking mechanisms, Mossman said that he wanted to start coaching to help baseball programs get the most productivity from their athletes.
“I was inspired a while ago after reading ‘Moneyball,’ and what fascinated me was the story about [former Major Leaguer] Scott Hatteberg,” Mossman said. “I wanted to see how many players like Hatteberg were out there, and see how you can use different methods to make a player more valuable.”
Hatteberg’s perceived value rose in the eyes of the Oakland Athletics scouts when they began to reconsider the importance of a player’s on-base percentage (OBP). The Athletics’ strategy soon spread across Major League Baseball (MLB), forever changing how players are evaluated.
Mossman said analytics is a way to better understand the talents of a wide range of players. He pointed to the example of a pitcher’s spin rate, explaining that it could be as significant a variable as a pitcher’s velocity.
“When it came to how to decipher between kids or get the most out of their talent, I started to learn that even though certain guys didn’t have top velocities, their high spin rates could be of just as high a value,” Mossman said.
Mossman took an unconventional path on his way to holding the title of Head Pitching Coach at Emory. He first made his way to Atlanta after he graduated from Shenandoah University (Va.) with a degree in sports management. At Shenandoah, he played as a pitcher on the Division III baseball team.
Mossman worked for Passion City Church in Buckhead, Ga., interning with the church’s production team and record label. While he worked at the church, he had a growing desire to get back into the game of baseball and applied for the position of pitching coach at Emory.
A recent college graduate, Mossman is still finding his identity as a collegiate baseball coach.
“There is a tension between being a friend with these guys and being a coach, that’s something I struggle with on a daily basis,” Mossman said. “I balance this by connecting with them on a personal level, but also I am trying to get the best out of them, so we can compete at the next level.”
One of the members of Mossman’s pitching staff, sophomore pitcher Richard Brereton said that Mossman is helping the staff emphasize certain aspects of the game more than the team has in the past.
“Coach Mossman has highlighted the importance of throwing strikes and making the defense work,” Brereton said. “This hasn’t changed from anything that we have learned, but he is helping us emphasize other aspects of the game.”
Given the complexity of some of Mossman’s analytics, he said that he is working to make his methods usable for his pitchers and the rest of the coaching staff.
“This being my first season, I’m trying to figure out how to blend coaching with all of these analytics,” Mossman said. “If I can make all of this information comprehensible and help the players put this into practice, it will improve our player development.”
Brereton said he’s seen some of Mossman’s techniques in action, noting the high-tech mediums of analyzing the team’s pitchers.
“[Mossman] has had some of our pitchers use an arm sleeve with a tracker in it, called Motus,” Brereton said. “What Motus does is track a pitcher’s every throw. It can track spin rate, arm angle and arm speed. He does this to help us become more consistent.”
After the Eagles split a pair of games against Piedmont College (Ga.) Feb. 3, allowing a total of 16 runs in the two games, the team fell hard to LaGrange College (Ga.) Feb. 6 in a 8-0 defeat, dropping the team’s record to 1-2 on the season.
Emory will have another opportunity to put Mossman’s techniques into practice next weekend in a three-game series against Covenant College (Ga.). The first game will be on the road at Covenant Feb. 9. The two teams will then play a doubleheader at Emory Feb. 10 in the Eagles’ first home games of the 2018 season.
The Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason is quickly approaching, and the stage is set for an exciting battle that will determine the top players of the baseball world. The postseason is bound to keep baseball fans on the edge of their seats; many of this season’s storylines have already etched their place in baseball history.
Perhaps the most noteworthy event of the season was the Cleveland Indians’ incredible 22-game winning streak. This streak marked the second longest in MLB history, four games shy of the New York Giants’ 1916 26-game winning streak, and the longest in American League (AL) history. Starting Aug. 24, the Indians began stringing together win after win against the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles. Their streak ended Sept. 15, when the Royals finally handed the Indians a 4-3 defeat.
The Indians’ elite starting pitching energized their streak. Cleveland’s pitching has been the best in the AL, as they are the only team that has not yet given up more than 600 runs this season. The ace of their staff, Corey Kluber, dominated during the winning streak, tallying four wins and allowing only five earned runs during that span. Kluber has made a serious case as a candidate for the Cy Young Award, awarded to the best pitcher in the American and National Leagues, with an 18-4 record on the year. On top of 18 wins, Kluber also has struck out 262 batters and has a 2.27 earned run average (ERA). The most viable contender to Kluber for the AL Cy Young is Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who has a 17-7 record, 300 strikeouts and a 2.75 ERA.
Cleveland’s potent offense also contributed to their win streak. The Indians scored five or more runs 14 times over the course of the 22-game span. Third baseman Jose Ramirez has been a catalyst for the Indians lineup, leading the Indians in batting average. Other key players in the Indians’ offensive prowess are shortstop Francisco Lindor, who has a .277 batting average and 33 home runs, and designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion, who leads the team with 37 home runs.
As it stands, the Indians have the best record in the AL and are the AL Central Division champions. Joining the Indians in the AL playoff are the Houston Astros (the AL West champions), as well as the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, both of whom are still vying for the AL East pennant. The Minnesota Twins claim the final wild card spot and are five games ahead of the next best team, the Los Angeles Angels.
In the National League (NL), the Los Angeles Dodgers have undoubtedly been the strongest team. They have a 99-57 record and have given up less than 600 runs over the season. Powerhouse pitcher Clayton Kershaw made mincemeat of his opponents, delivering a Cy Young-worthy performance with an 18-4 record, 200 strikeouts and a 2.21 ERA. Along with Kershaw, the Dodgers have received ample production from third baseman Justin Turner, who has a .321 batting average, second in the NL to Colorado Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon. Also benefiting the Dodgers offense is rookie sensation first baseman Cody Bellinger, who has 39 home runs.
With the powerful combination of Kershaw and Turner, the Dodgers have earned themselves the NL West pennant. Other teams to clinch playoff spots in the NL include the Washington Nationals, who won the NL East, and the Arizona Diamondbacks, who nabbed a wild card spot. In the NL Central, the Chicago Cubs are a game away from winning the division. The final wild card spot is currently a three-team race between the Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.
The MLB shattered its single season record for total home runs in a season this year, making it a special year for power hitters. Two of the year’s most entertaining players are Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge. Both players have adopted the home run as the crux of their game and are first and second in the MLB in home runs, respectively. Stanton has smashed 57 home runs, 31 of which have come after the All-Star break. Also a prominent home-run hitter, Judge has hit 50 home runs of his own. This mark set a record for most home runs by a rookie in a single season. Judge did much of his damage before the All-Star break, hitting 30 of his 50 home runs. On a national stage, Judge used his six-foot seven-inch frame to showcase his power as he won the Home Run Derby. Although Judge cooled off substantially after the All-Star break, he has reemerged in September with 11 home runs and a .284 batting average.
Stanton’s and Judge’s power symbolize this exciting MLB season. With the AL and NL Wild Card games Oct. 3 and 4, respectively, teams have less than a week to secure their entry to the 2017 postseason.