Emory baseball dropped its first three-game series of the season, losing two of three against the Covenant College (Ga.) Scots. Despite the weekend losses, the Eagles’ record remains 17-5.

After a 4-1 victory against D3baseball.com’s No. 4 team Birmingham Southern University (Ala.) March 15, the Eagles hoped to build off that success in their home series against Covenant. The Eagles flew out of the dugout, jumping to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Junior first baseman Bubby Terp knocked in two runs on a double along the right field line.

Sophomore starting pitcher Billy Dimlow held Covenant scoreless for the first four innings before yielding two runs to the Scots in the top of the fifth. With the game tied at two, Emory regained the lead in the bottom of the inning after a Covenant fielding error allowing two runs to cross home plate.

Yielding one more run in his start, Dimlow completed a strong afternoon on the mound, allowing three earned runs on six hits and two walks in seven innings. With Dimlow out of the game, senior pitcher Kyle Monk came in looking for his fifth save this season in the eighth. With scoreless eighth and ninth innings, Monk struck out three Covenant batters. In the meantime, Emory added three more runs in the seventh and eighth innings to win the game 7-3.

Dimlow attributed part of his strong start to the dynamic between himself and his catcher, junior Mitch Kerner.

“Part of my success has come because I’ve had great chemistry with my catcher,” Dimlow said. “He’s been calling pitches that have allowed me to stay consistent and to execute.”

Superb performances from Dimlow and senior left fielder Wilson Morgan paved the way to the Eagles’ victory. Dimlow continues to build a strong resume this season, recording his fourth win in six starts. Morgan went two for three batting with two doubles, an RBI and two walks.

Dimlow spoke about his ability to throw his slider for strikes and how it has helped him to dominate his opponents.

“The slider is a pitch that I can throw in any count and feel confident,” Dimlow said. “I have been able to throw different types of sliders and have relied on them almost like a crutch.”

Emory looked to build a winning streak against Covenant in a doubleheader March 18 in Lookout Mountain, Ga. In an offensive battle, the Eagles fell short in a 12-10 defeat.

The Scots battered senior pitcher Luke Emmett, who gave up seven runs on five hits and seven walks in the two and one third innings that he pitched. Following Emmett’s rough start, freshman pitcher John Ross sought to cool off the Covenant bats. Despite the pitching change, Covenant continued their prolific offensive display, knocking three more runs in Ross’s two and two-thirds innings pitched.

Covenant built a 9-0 lead in the first four innings. Emory battled back in innings five through six, bringing home 10 runs of their own, but after allowing Covenant to pick up in the fifth and sixth innings, the Eagles remained unable to claim a lead.

Despite the loss, Twardoski said that his team fought hard to get back into the game.

“Coming back is what we have done all year,” Twardoski said. “We had some really good energy, and some guys had some great at-bats, but we gave up a two-run home run, and if we  hadn’t we probably would have tied.”

Perhaps most damaging to the Eagles on the mound were Covenant’s three home runs. Prior to the first game of this series, Emory’s pitchers allowed only three home runs in the season’s first 19 games.

Head Coach Mike Twardoski noted the Eagles’ poor pitch locations on the home runs.

“When you give up a home run, the ball is up in the zone,” Twardoski said. “We have to pitch to better locations.”

In the second half of the doubleheader, Emory edged a 1-0 lead in the first three innings. The Eagles’ run came on a walk with the bases loaded to freshman third baseman Ryan Adelman.

On the rubber for Emory, senior pitcher Philip Maldari kept the Covenant bats silent in the first three innings. At the bottom of the fourth inning, Maldari yielded two runs to Covenant.

Emory lost control in the bottom of the fifth as Covenant marked four runs on four hits, including a home run. Maldari did not make it through the inning, ending the day with three earned runs on four hits in four innings. Emory’s pitching gave up eight runs in a seven inning game, while Emory’s bats were stymied with only two runs. The Eagles finished the day with an 8-2 defeat.

Dimlow emphasized that pitching is the key factor in determining Emory’s success.

“When our pitching has started well we have been able to win games,” Dimlow said. “Ever since we lost our first game, we have struggled somewhat on the mound. Pitching should be the strongest part of the team.”

Twardoski criticized his team’s approach, stressing that his players must be more poised and prepared to compete in every game.

“My concern is that we’re not ready to play,” Twardoski said. “We are not quick, there’s no energy or camaraderie from a few of us. We need more consistency and [to] have fun playing. It seems that some guys are tired and it’s a bad dynamic now.”

Rounding out the nonconference portion of their schedule, the Eagles fell 9-4 to LaGrange College (Ga.) March 21. Emory will begin University Athletic Association (UAA) play March 24,  hosting Case Western Reserve University (Ohio).