While students spent spring break relaxing, Emory’s baseball team traveled to Oglethorpe University (Ga.), Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) and LaGrange College (Ga.) and lost all three games, extending their losing streak to four. They then returned home to face Middlebury College (Vt.) in a doubleheader on March 16, in which they lost both games. The Eagles turned it around when they played Middlebury again on March 17 and dominated by 8-2.
The Eagles were 6-3 heading into this stretch of six games, but the losing streak cost them their winning record. The team now sits at 7-8.
Emory faced off against Oglethorpe heading into spring break on March 6. Oglethorpe struck first with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Both teams failed to score again until the top of the fifth, when Emory junior infielder Ryan Adelman scored the Eagles’ first run off of an RBI single. However, Oglethorpe quickly responded in the bottom of the fifth by putting up four runs to make the score 5-1. Although the Eagles cut the deficit down to two in the top of the sixth inning thanks to back-to-back RBI hits from Adelman and freshman infielder Zeke Diamond, Oglethorpe scored one more run in the seventh inning to win the game 6-3.
Adelman and Diamond combined for six of Emory’s seven hits, with Adelman going four-for-four at the plate. Although these two put in stellar performances, the Eagles could not pull off the win.
Junior catcher Jacob Greene, despite the loss, is ready to face Oglethorpe again.
“At the end of the day Oglethorpe came out ready to play and they beat us,” Greene said. “I can tell you we definitely look forward to having them come to Chappell park in April.”
After the loss, the Eagles traveled to Alabama to play No. 23-ranked Birmingham-Southern, a game they lost 8-4. Emory took the lead in the top of the second after an RBI single by senior catcher Eric Terry, which got senior infielder Bubby Terp to home plate. This was the only lead Emory would have in the game as Birmingham-Southern then scored four runs in the bottom of the second.
Although Birmingham-Southern led the entire game, Emory threatened a comeback in the top of the ninth. Trailing 8-3, the Eagles managed to load the bases. Sophomore outfielder Jack Rubenstein — who hit his first career home run earlier in the game — scored Adelman after being hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded and the tying run at bat, senior infielder Thomas Baumgartner grounded into a fielder’s choice for the final out of the game.
The Eagles completed their road trip on March 13 with a lengthy 15-inning, 1-0 loss to LaGrange. The pitchers of both teams controlled the game with impressive performances. Junior pitcher James Robertson totaled a season-high nine strikeouts, and allowed only five hits and three walks in 7.2 scoreless innings. Freshman pitcher Joey Bock followed Robertson, striking out two batters and allowing only two hits in three innings. Finally, freshman pitcher Jack Brodsky stepped up to the mound, striking out a career-high six batters in 3.2 innings. In the 13th inning, Brodsky impressively outpitched a bases-loaded, no-outs situation to keep the score tied 0-0. Unfortunately, he collected his first loss of the season after giving up the only run of the game in the 15th inning.
Rubenstein was frustrated by the outcome of the games but said he still has confidence in his team.
“Our performance over spring break was extremely disappointing as a whole,” Rubenstein said. “But we know that we are one of the most talented teams in the country. In order to turn things around, we simply need to play like it and show more confidence on the field.”
The Eagles returned home on March 16 for a doubleheader against Middlebury. Middlebury dominated both games, winning the first 10-5 and the second 16-5. The first game did not heat up until the eighth inning, when Middlebury scored three runs to put the game out of reach. Emory attempted to rally during the ninth inning when sophomore outfielder Drew Bartholow pinch hit two-run triple, but Middlebury’s lead was too large to overcome.
In the second game against Middlebury, Emory started off strong when Adelman hit a two-run single to bring home senior outfielder Jackson Grayson and Terry in the first inning. Greene followed up with a home run to left center to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead. Middlebury responded by scoring seven unanswered runs, four in the third inning and three in the fifth. The Eagles answered when senior outfielder Michael Wilson hit a sacrifice fly that brought in sophomore infielder Jacob Singer. However, Emory continued to fall apart on defense, allowing five runs in the sixth inning and four runs in the seventh inning, before they answered with their final run of the game — a double from freshman infielder Danny Terp to bring in senior infielder NJ Kim.
Emory faced Middlebury again on March 17, and this time, the slumping team came out with a vengeance. The Eagles hit hard in the bottom of the first, scoring three runs. Rubenstein plated in the first run with an RBI single. Greene followed with a bases-loaded walk, and junior pitcher Richard Brereton brought in the last run of the inning with an RBI groundout. The Eagles took complete control of the game in the fourth with RBIs from junior catcher David Shore, Bubby Terp, Grayson and Diamond. Emory’s final run came from Greene, who belted a home run in the seventh inning. The win went to sophomore pitcher Jack Moore, who pitched eight innings — six of which were scoreless.
Greene knows his team has work to do, but said he takes pride in what they accomplished in the final game of their series against Middlebury.
“It was a tough weekend that highlighted some things that we need to work on, like situational hitting and damage control,” Greene said. “We were happy to end the weekend with a win.”
The Eagles’ next game is scheduled for March 27 against Piedmont College (Ga.) at Chappell Park.