HARRISONBURG - Eastern Mennonite's Daniel Scott belted a three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday afternoon to lift the Royals to a 6-5 victory over Bridgewater College.
With the loss, the Eagles finish the regular season with a 19-18-1 overall record and a 7-13 mark in the ODAC. Despite Wednesday's setback the Eagles appear to have locked up a spot in the ODAC tournament.
Eastern Mennonite faces Lynchburg in a doubleheader on Saturday. If Lynchburg wins one of the two, Bridgewater is in. If EMU sweeps, there would be a three-way tie for two spots between Lynchburg, EMU and Bridgewater. The Eagles would grab a spot in that scenario. There also could be a four-way tie for three spots among the previously mentioned three teams plus Hampden-Sydney. The Eagles again would gain a spot in that scenario. Seeds and first-round pairings will be announced following the conclusion of play this weekend.
Eastern Mennonite jumped out to an early lead when Billy Quinn belted a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the second inning.
The Eagles answered with two runs in the top of the third. With two outs, Chris King singled and Brett Jones walked. Jake Bailey followed with a double to the gap in left-center, scoring King to put the Eagles on the board. Cameron Stanley plated Jones with a single up the middle, tying the score at 2-2.
Bridgewater took the lead in the fifth when King lined an opposite-field homer to right for a 3-2 Eagles' lead. King has homered in three straight games.
The Eagles added two more runs in the seventh to pad the lead. Jones reached base with a single and Bailey followed with a two-run homer, giving the Eagles a 5-2 lead.
After giving up the homer to Quinn in the second, Bridgewater starter Chad Lenz controlled the Royals lineup, allowing no runs on just one hit until the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, EMU's Damon Frazier homered down the left-field line, cutting Bridgewater's lead to 5-3.
Lenz went back out to start the ninth, but he walked leadoff hitter Tyler McFadden and the Eagles went to the bullpen for Ryan Skadra. Skadra walked pinch-hitter Blake Sargeant, giving the Royals runners at first and second with no outs. Leadoff batter Jacob Merica then put a bunt down toward first where Bailey fielded the ball and threw to third base to retire the lead runner for the first out of the inning. That brought Scott to the plate and he hit the walk-off homer to right for the 6-5 Royals' victory.
Bailey led the Eagles at the plate with a 3-for-5 day and three RBIs. King, Jones and Stanley added two hits each.
Lenz worked eight-plus innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He walked five and struck out five.