The Emory baseball team had a rough weekend, loosing to the Piedmont College (Ga.) Lions 12-7 and loosing two to the Hendrix College (Ark.) Warriors 11-4 and 5-0.
“Even though we won [the University Athletic Association] Championships, we still lost the past four games in a row,” junior second baseman Dylan Eisner said. “We played some hard teams and thought we were on a roll, so it’s really tough to loose.”
On Friday, March 20, the Eagles took on Piedmont, in what was a high scoring affair that ended in a 12-7 defeat for the Eagles. Senior right-hander Paul Merolla started on the mound. The Lions got on the board first, putting up one run in the bottom of the first. The Eagles answered with two in the top of the second on a run scoring groundout by freshman shortstop Nick Chambers and an error on sophomore catcher Chris Young’s grounder to second that brought another run across. However, in the bottom of the second, the Lions responded with five runs. The Lions got one across on a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. The Eagles only needed one out to get out of the jam nearly unscathed but a passed ball in the following at bat put the Lions ahead 4-2. The Lions singled, scored, stole second and then advanced to third on a throwing error by Merolla. The Lions stole third and then scored on a single to extend their lead to 6-2.
The Eagles answered with two in the top of the third but the Lions added three more in the bottom of the fourth.
The Eagles put up three more runs in the top of the fifth, but the Lions answered again, scoring one in the bottom of the fifth and two of the bottom of the sixth. The score was set at 12-7, where it remained for the rest of the game.
The Eagles were able to get runs across, but were unable to hold the Lions offense in check. Eisner continued to stay hot at the plate, getting two base hits and scoring two runs. Senior outfielder Brett Lake had two hits as well and sophomore third baseman Philip Maldari drove in three runs.
On Saturday, in the first of two games against the Warriors, the Eagles were not as sharp in the field or on the mound as they were the previous weekend.
The Eagles gave up 11 runs but only earned three, and fell to the Warriors 11-4.
The Eagles got on the board first with a double from Maldari that scored Lake. The team then added another run in the bottom third on a single up the middle by Eisner that scored Chambers.
Sophomore lefthander Jackson Weeg, who pitched seven innings of one-hit shutout ball in his previous start, started the game strong, putting up zeros in the first three frames. However, in the top of fourth, the Warriors got on the board for three runs. The Eagles were unable to answer and after allowing one more run in the sixth, Weeg’s day was finished. Freshman right-hander Danny Kerning came on in relief in the seventh and gave up one run. After loading the bases with one out, Kerning gave up a two run single and walked the following batter, ending his day and leaving the Warriors leading at 11-2.
The Eagles added two runs in the bottom of the ninth in what proved a futile effort.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Eagles struggled offensively and fell to the Warriors 5-0.
“We just need to do a better job with runners in scoring position and focus on having quality at-bats,” Lake said. “We need to take it one game at a time.”
Senior Connor Dillman started for the Eagles and went six innings, striking out eight and walking five. Sophomore right hander Kyle Monk came on in relief for Dillman and gave up four hits and three earned runs in two innings of work. The Eagles were unable to get anything going against the Warriors, who tossed a complete game shutout, giving up six hits, walking one, and striking out three. Eisner, however, added two hits, raising his average to .380.
The Eagles return to action today (March 24), at home against DePauw University (Ind.) at 3 p.m.
“I think we just aren’t clicking as well right now,” Eisner said. “We are getting anxious and putting too much pressure on ourselves. I have no doubt that we will get back into our groove and play baseball the way we know how.”