The Emory baseball team faced off against NCAA Division III No. 17 Huntingdon College (Ala.) in a three-game series, which the Eagles won 2-1. Emory lost the first game but came back to win the second game by the mercy rule and the third game on a walk-off.
The Eagles started the series against Huntingdon with an 8-4 loss. Huntingdon scored first with two runs in the bottom of the third. Senior infielder Bubby Terp stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning and hammered out a solo home run to open the scoring for the Eagles. Emory scored two more runs — one in the fifth and one in the sixth — to take the lead. Huntingdon managed to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, but Emory soon took the lead again when senior infielder NJ Kim stole third base and made it to home off of an ill-fated throw by Huntingdon’s catcher in the seventh. This was the final run Emory would score, and Huntingdon ended the game with five unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth innings to defeat the Eagles 8-4. The loss goes to freshman pitcher Jack Brodsky, who fell to 4-2 on the season.
Junior pitcher Richard Brereton said the loss fired them up for the following two games.
“This weekend was huge for us,” Brereton said. “Although we didn’t get the win on Friday, we played a really competitive game, and [it] gave us great momentum for Saturday and Sunday.”
In the second game of the series, the Eagles won by the mercy rule for the fourth time in seven games. Offensively, freshman infielder Zeke Diamond extended his team-high hitting streak to nine games with a three-hit game. He also drove in three runs, scored twice and stole a base. Junior catcher Jacob Greene put his mark on the game by hitting two home runs, one of which was a grand slam in the top of the third inning. Greene went a perfect three-for-three at the plate and crossed home three times. Brereton had a dominant performance both offensively and defensively, going four-for-five at the plate with two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. Defensively, he threw five scoreless innings, striking out three and allowing only three hits to just one walk. Brereton earned the win and moved to 2-0 on the season.
Greene thought Brereton’s performance was game-changing
“It was great to have Rich back on the mound to sure up our weekend pitching rotation,” Greene said. “We feel great offensively and defensively.”
With the series tied going into the final game, both teams came out ready to fight. The Eagles scored twice in the first inning off of RBIs by Brereton and Terp, but neither team was able to score again until the seventh inning. Sophomore pitcher Jack Moore’s impressive pitching performance held Huntingdon to just one run though seven innings. He struck out five batters and allowed only six hits and three walks. After Huntingdon cut the lead to one in the top of the seventh, Emory scored twice in the bottom when junior infielder Ryan Adelman ran home after a wild pitch and Diamond stole home as part of a double steal. In the eighth inning, Huntingdon again cut the lead to one, but Emory scored once more to bring the lead back up to two. In the top of the ninth, Huntingdon scored twice to tie the game up before heading into the final half inning. Due to Huntingdon’s defensive errors, the Eagles put two players on base before Brereton was intentionally walked to fill the bases. Junior infielder Christopher Stern stepped up to the plate and delivered a walk-off to left field which brought in the winning run.
Although Brereton was proud of his team, he acknowledged that there is still work to do.
“We’re confident with where we’re at but not satisfied,” Brereton said. “We are looking forward to our midweek game [against Oglethorpe] on Tuesday, and then we’ll set our sights on a huge conference series against Case Western next weekend.”
The game against Oglethorpe was rescheduled to Wednesday due to inclement weather. The Eagles will face Case Western Reserve University (Ohio), a University Athletic Association foe, in their next game on April 12 at Chappell Park.