Emory Sweeps Denison & York to Cap Off 4-0 Rawlings Southern Classic
The Emory University baseball team finished off the Rawlings Southern Classic with a pair of victories, defeating York College (Pa.) 10-5 in the early game, and shutting out Denison University 5-0 in the late contest at Chappell Park on Sunday.
The start of the late contest against Denison was freshman pitcher Ben Hinojosa. Making his first collegiate start and second appearance overall, Hinojosa shut out the Big Red for seven innings, scattering six hits and striking out five, while not walking a batter. He lowered his season ERA to 1.29, while earning his first collegiate victory, improving to 1-0.
Emory was able to grind out a run in the bottom of the third inning, as freshman Brandon Hannon scored on a wild pitch to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. Emory would add on a second run in the sixth, as senior Ryan Jones scored an unearned run on a double play. The Eagles would finally blow the game open in the eighth, scoring three runs to secure the victory for Hinojosa.
Sophomore Mike Bitanga entered the game in the eighth inning with a 2-0 lead, retiring the side in order in the eighth, and pitching around a pair of two-out hits in the ninth to earn his second save in as many days. Bitanga struck out three batters in the contest. The shutout was Emory's first as a team since April 21st, 2010 against Atlanta Christian College, and its first against a NCAA Division III team since besting York 11-0 at last year's Rawlings Southern Classic.
Junior Kevin O'Connor finished the game three-for-four with a run scored and an RBI, while Hannon was one-for-one with two walks, two runs scored, and a stolen base. Denison dropped to 1-3 on the season with the loss, as Big Red starter Dale McOsker fell to 0-1 on the campaign.
In the early contest against York, freshman Jason Edwards made his first-career start and second collegiate appearance, throwing six innings and giving up three unearned runs on five hits to earn his first victory. The freshman improved to 1-1 on the season with a 2.70 earned run average.
Emory fell behind early in the game as Edwards gave up a pair of runs to the Spartans in the first inning on a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single. York's lead was short-lived, however, as Emory scored three in the bottom of the second on Gabe Shivers' two-out triple with the bases loaded, taking a 3-2 lead.
After York tied the game in the top of the third with a run, Emory regained the advantage for good, with an RBI single from Andrew Cohn, a sacrifice fly from Patrick Riebsame, and an RBI single from Brandon Hannon.
York would score two more unearned runs in the top of the seventh to pull within two of Emory, 7-5. However, the Eagles added three more in the bottom of the eighth on Hannon's RBI double and a two RBI double for Ryan Jones, securing the victory.
Emory's Ryan Orlovsky, Matt McMahon and Ryan Toscano each pitched an inning, combining to allow just one hit and two unearned runs, to finish off the contest.
Shivers finished the day three-for-four with three RBIs, raising his batting average to .333. Jones was two-for-four with three RBIs and a walk as well, while Hannon went two-for-four with two RBIs. York dropped to 1-3 on the campaign with the loss, as starter Brian Lusby took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the campaign.
Meanwhile, Emory has now won four-straight games to improve to 5-1 on the season. The Eagles remained undefeated at home as well, raising their Chappell Park record to 5-0 this season.
Sunday's two games also capped off a strong weekend for the Emory pitching staff. Emory's four starters during the weekend – Chris Monaco, Paul Schwendel, Edwards and Hinojosa – each went at least six innings and earned victories. Meanwhile, the Eagles' staff as a whole allowed just six earned runs in 36 innings for a 1.50 ERA, while walking just five batters and allowing 31 hits.
Emory will continue its six-game home stint this week, hosting Washington and Lee University on Tuesday, February 22nd at 2:00 PM.