The Emory baseball team suffered a four-game sweep in a series against their UAA foe, the Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) Bears. Emory’s losses this past weekend stretched their losing streak to six games. The Eagles have struggled as of late, dropping nine of their past 11 games.
Head Coach Mike Twardoski said that the team is struggling with some of the basics and that he needs to figure out how to help his team rediscover their winning ways.
“We are playing tight, missing the signs and not bunting well,” Twardoski said. “We are not doing the little things that win games. My job is to figure out what button to push because we are still working hard and we are still energetic.”
Emory began the four-game series March 31 on the road with a 3-0 loss. Washington pitcher, freshman Brad Margolin, nearly no-hit the Eagles, allowing only one hit in the game. Marking an impressive performance, Margolin recorded a complete game with one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts.
Emory sophomore pitcher Billy Dimlow had a solid day on the rubber as well. He allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk. Despite Emory’s solid showing from the mound, Emory’s batters did not figure out how solve Margolin. Junior shortstop Nick Chambers had Emory’s only hit with a single in the sixth inning.
Although the Eagles got on the scoreboard, Emory dropped the first half of a doubleheader 6-2 April 1. Three errors in the field plagued Emory’s hopes of victory as the Eagles allowed four unearned runs.
Senior pitcher Jackson Weeg led the Eagles on the mound, pitching a solid seven and one-third innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits. He also tallied four walks and 10 strikeouts.
Weeg said that the work he’s done to improve his game has helped him better contribute to the team.
“I have been working hard to make adjustments,” Weeg said. “The work has been paying off and I saw that this weekend. Mostly I am trying to put the team in position to win.”
With the game tied at two heading into the eighth, Washington scored four runs to grasp a 6-2 lead. Entering the game with one out and a man on first, Monk struggled to keep Washington from crossing the plate.
Emory’s batters put together another lackluster performance in the second half of the doubleheader April 1. A three-run first inning catapulted Washington to a 5-2 triumph over the Eagles.
Starting for Emory, senior pitcher Luke Emmett had a forgettable day on the mound, allowing four runs on four hits and five walks through four innings. After Washington burst ahead of Emory with a three-run first inning, the Eagles failed to answer back.
Emory scored runs in the third and seventh innings, but were never able to string together a breakthrough. Washington’s pitchers held Emory in check, allowing only four hits. The Bears added two more runs of their own in the fifth and sixth innings, walking away with a third straight win against the Eagles.
Failing to salvage the final game of the series, Emory fell 7-5 to Washington April 2. The Eagles flew out to an early lead, scoring a run in the second inning on a Washington throwing error. Monk helped Emory maintain the lead through five innings, yielding only two hits to the Washington batters.
The Bears fought back in the sixth and were able to tie the game at one apiece. Emory responded with a vengeance at the top of the seventh, knocking four runs across the plate. Senior third-baseman Philip Maldari drove in two runs in the inning with a double.
Leading the game 5-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Emory seemed poised for victory but to their dismay, Washington answered back. Monk and freshman relief pitcher Richard Brereton combined to give up six runs to Washington in the seventh. Adding to the Eagles’ frustration, Twardoski was ejected in the disastrous inning for arguing balls and strikes.
Emory did not respond in the eighth or ninth innings and went home winless for the weekend. Emory’s record faltered to 19-11 and 2-6 in UAA conference play.
Despite the team’s losing streak, Twardoski praised his team’s effort and suggested that improvement may require nothing more than a tighter focus.
“This team is one of the hardest working team’s I’ve been around,” Twardoski said. “We have too big a scope. Instead, we need to worry about one pitch at a time.”
Weeg mentioned that it will take a team effort to make this change.
“The pitching staff batters have struggled at times,” Weeg said. “But it has been a team effort the entire season and in order to get out of this slump it will take the whole team getting together and moving past what has been a tough 10 games.”
The Eagles will return to the diamond April 7, traveling to Waltham, Mass. to face Brandeis University.