Eagles Edged in Ninth by Division II North Georgia
A shorthanded Emory University baseball team fought tough against a higher-Division opponent on Wednesday night, but ultimately fell short against North Georgia College and State University, losing 5-4 in its regular season finale on Wednesday night.
The Eagles will end the regular season with an overall record of 26-12 with the loss, while North Georgia improved to 24-26 with victory.
After both teams went scoreless through the first two innings, Emory jumped out on top of North Georgia with four-straight two out hits in the top of the third inning, including RBI singles for Jared Welch and Daniel Iturrey, giving the Eagles' a 2-0 lead. Welch's single extended his season-long hitting streak to 16 games.
The Saints scored their only run off Emory starter Matt McMahon in the bottom of the fourth, as Terrell Jones scored from second on a two-out single from Travis Naraine. McMahon pitched four innings for the Eagles, allowing just the one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out three.
The score remained 2-1 until the seventh, after scoreless innings of relief from each of Ryan Orlovsky and Graham Bloomsmith. In the bottom of the seventh innings, with Dylan Finer on the mound for the Eagles, a leadoff double, followed by a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly brought the tying run across the plate for the Saints.
However, it was an unlikely hero who would give Emory the lead again in the top of the eighth, when freshman Matt Kohn hit a one-out solo home run over the leftfield wall, the first of his career, putting the Eagles out in front by a 3-2 score.
North Georgia answered back again in the bottom of the eighth, helped out by the Emory defense. After a leadoff single, an error, a passed ball and a balk forced the tying run across the plate, but Finer was able to induce a two-out line out to end the inning with the score tied at three.
Emory would go to work again offensively in the top of the ninth. Wes Peacock led the inning off with a single, and after stealing second base, scored on a double from Welch to put Emory back ahead, 4-3.
However, Emory's defense faltered again in the bottom of the frame. Freshman Michael Byman entered in relief, allowing a leadoff single to the first batter of the inning, and committing an error in the next at bat that allowed the tying run to score from first, and put the game winning run at third with nobody out. Jordan Erisman followed with a walk-off single to score the run and end the game.
Byman took the loss for Emory to fall to 1-1 on the campaign, while Taylor Keinat (4-4) earned the win.
Junior Mark Lindemann went three-for-five in the game, while Welch ended the contest two-for-five with two RBIs.
Emory will now await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament selections on May 13th, to see if the squad will advance to the postseason.