Emory Handles LaGrange in 10-4 Win

The Emory University Baseball team scored in double-digits for the fourth time through eight games this season, as the Eagles overcame a slow start to defeat the LaGrange College Panthers 10-4 at Chappell Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Emory improved to 6-2 on the season with the win, the team's fifth in its last six contests, while the Panthers fell to 0-4 with the loss.

The Eagles were buoyed by the return of senior starting pitcher Ben Hinojosa, who took to the mound for the first time this season, after missing all of the 2013 campaign due to injury.  After allowing a pair of runs to start the game, including one earned, Hinojosa settled in to retire the next nine batters in order, while striking out four.  The right-handed pitcher needed just 36 pitches to get through his three innings of work, and did not walk a batter in the effort.

Emory erased the two-run deficit in the bottom of the second, scoring runs on a sacrifice fly from Wes Peacock and a single from Ryan Toscano, and took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI double from Peacock.

LaGrange responded with an unearned run off Emory freshman Jackson Weeg in the top of the fourth, but the lefty settled in, holding the Panthers without an earned run on five hits, while striking out five and walking one.  The Eagles scored another run in the bottom of the fourth on a Brett Lake single, and the team would not trail the rest of the way, delivering Weeg his first collegiate victory.

Weeg has not allowed an earned run through his first 8.2 innings of work this season.

Emory added on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth on RBI singles from senior Jared Welch and freshman Philip Maldari, and a balk that scored Peacock, increasing the lead to 7-3.  The Eagles put up another three spot in the bottom of the sixth, when Daniel Iturrey drove in two with an RBI single, and later scored from third on a wild pitch.

Senior Robert Gross allowed a run in the top of the eighth to the Panthers, but would get out of the frame without any further damage.  Senior Mike Bitanga closed out the contest, needing just six pitches to sit the LaGrange side down in order in the ninth.

Iturrey finished the game three-for-three with three runs scored and two RBIs, and is now batting .429 this season with 11 runs and 10 runs batted in.  Lake ran his hitting streak to nine games with a one-for-two performance, including two runs, an RBI and a pair of walks, while Peacock added a pair of hits, a run scored, two RBIs and a stolen base.  Senior Brandon Hannon stole two bases during the day, and has now been successful in his last 26 steal attempts, dating back to the start of the 2013 season.

LaGrange reliever Tyler Brooks took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the season.  Jim Reed and Casey Bell each had a pair of hits for the Panthers in the game.

Emory will make the trip to Fayetteville, NC this weekend to take on Methodist University on Saturday, February 22nd at 1:00 PM and Sunday, February 23rd at 2:00 PM.