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Eagles Pick Up Key ODAC Victory Over EMU

Jacob Grabeel hits for the Eagles.

BRIDGEWATER - Bridgewater College picked up a key conference baseball victory Thursday afternoon as the Eagles held off Eastern Mennonite, 10-7.

The Royals jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Damon Frazier's two-run homer in the top of the first, but the Eagles got one run back in the bottom of the first when Austin Batten scored on an EMU throwing error.

Eastern Mennonite (11-16, 2-8 in the ODAC) added an unearned run in the top of the second on Jacob Merica's infield single, but the Eagles responded with three runs in the bottom half of the second to take the lead.

Brett Jones led off the second with a walk and moved to third on Kevin Navedo's one-out double to left-center. Phillip Herber plated Jones with a single to right and Navedo scored on a single to left by Autin Batten, tying the score at 3-3. Jacob Grabeel then lined a single to center, scoring Herber to give the Eagles a 4-3 lead.

Bridgewater padded its lead with two runs in the third inning and one run in the fourth.

Jacob Talley was hit by a pitch to start the third, moved to second on a balk and took third on a single by Jake Bailey. Talley scored on a wild pitch and Bailey scored on a Royals' throwing error, giving the Eagles a 6-3 lead. In the fourth, Grabeel led off and was hit by a pitch. Grabeel raced around to third on a throwing error on a grounder hit by Chris King and then scored on Talley's sacrifice fly to give the Eagles a 7-3 lead.

The Royals whittled away at the deficit with runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Daniel Scott hit a solo homer in the fifth and Tyler Wilcher plated a run with a single in the sixth to pull the Royals to within 7-5.

The Eagles got a run back in the bottom of the seventh to increase the lead. Talley led off the inning with a single and moved to third on a single by Jones. Talley scored on Bailey's sacrifice fly for an 8-5 Eagles' lead.

The Royals continued to battle and scored again in the top of the eighth inning. Ray Tricarico opened the inning with a single and moved to third on Tyler McFadden's one-out single to left. An infield single by Wilcher loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly by Merica scored Trocarico to pull EMU to within 8-6.

Bridgewater scored two important insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Herber led off the inning with a double, bringing Batten to the plate. Batten put down a sacrifice bunt toward third that was fielded by EMU pitcher John Judy. Judy tried to retire the lead runner at third, but his throw went down the left-field line, allowing Herber to score on the play to put the Eagles on top 9-6. Batten scored on a King's long double to the gap in left-center, making the score 10-6.

Jordan Showalter picked up his second straight conference win, working 5.2 innings and allowing five runs, four earned, on seven hits. Kyle Hasforth allowed one run in 2.1 innings and Ryan Skadra worked the ninth, giving up one unearned run.

The Eagles improved to 15-11-1 overall and 4-7 in the ODAC. The team returns to action Saturday when it travels to Hampden-Sydney for a conference doubleheader.