After burning the midnight oil with a late victory over Rhodes College last night to stay alive at the 2014 NCAA Division III Baseball Championships, the 22nd-ranked Emory University Baseball team won two more games in a 24-hour stretch, defeating 13th-ranked Shenandoah University 12-8 in the early game on Saturday, and handing Bridgewater College a 11-3 loss in the late one to force a regional-deciding game on Sunday.
The Eagles, seeded second in the will take on Bridgewater again on Sunday afternoon with the winner advancing to the NCAA Division III World Series in Appleton, Wisconsin from May 23rd – 27th. Emory has previously made World Series appearances during the 2000, 2003 and 2007 seasons, finishing as high as second in 2007.
The time of the game will be decided early on Sunday morning, as rain is anticipated in the Demorest area throughout the day.
Emory junior Brett Lake finished the day a combined four-for-eight with five runs batted in, breaking the school single-season RBI record in the process. His 64 runs batted in this year broke the previous program-best mark of 63, set by former Eagle Ted Karniewicz during the 2000 campaign.
With the two wins, Emory improved to 33-11 for the season.
Game 1 - Emory 12, Shenandoah 8
Emory scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning, and survived a late rally by Shenandoah by scoring another four runs in the bottom of the eighth, as the Eagles eliminated the Hornets from the NCAA Division III Championships with a 12-8 win.
Emory's offense collected 19 hits in the game, including two doubles and a triple, walked five times and stole five bases.
For the first time at this year's NCAA Championships, the Eagles jumped out to a lead in a game, and did so in a big way, sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring eight runs on eight hits. Included in Emory's first-inning offensive outburst was a bases-loaded triple from senior catcher Jared Welch that plated three runs, and a pair of hits, including a two-RBI single, from Lake.
Shenandoah, which featured one of the top offenses in the country, would not go away quietly. Reliever Andrew Zarobila shut down the Eagles until the bottom of the eighth, as the Hornets chipped away with a run off Emory senior starter Ben Hinojosa in the third, and two each in the fifth and sixth, cutting the Eagles' lead to 8-5. The Hornets scored two more in the top of the eighth and loaded the bases with one out against senior reliever Matt McMahon, but freshman Kyle Monk, pitching in his fourth game of the tournament, recorded a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the jam, and preserve a one-run Emory lead.
The Eagles' bats woke up again in the bottom of the eighth, scoring runs on a wild pitch and RBI singles from senior left fielder Daniel Iturrey, junior first baseman Jordan Selbach and freshman third baseman Philip Maldari. Shenandoah scored an unearned run in the top of the ninth, but Monk would shut the door to earn his fourth save of the season, three of which have come during tournament play.
Hinojosa earned the win to improve to 4-2 on the season, scattering 11 hits and allowing five runs, just three of which were earned. Lake and Welch each collected three RBIs in the game, while six Eagles had multiple-hit games, including a four-for-five effort from Maldari.
Hornets' starter Phillip Morse took the loss, allowing seven earned runs in a third of an inning of work. Shenandoah's season came to a close with a 33-11 record.
Game 2 – Emory 11, Bridgewater 3
Emory amassed another strong offensive performance during its second game of the day, collecting another 14 hits and scoring 11 runs, en route to the 11-3 win over Bridgewater. The victory avenged a loss earlier in the tournament, when Emory dropped a 7-4 decision to the Eagles on Friday.
With their tournament life once again on the line, the Eagles scored in the first inning again, as the first three Eagles each reached on a base hit, including an RBI single from Lake, tying the program's single-season RBI record.
Emory broke the game open with a five-run top of the third, extending the squad's advantage to 6-0. Iturrey started the scoring for Emory with a single that scored a pair of runs, and Welch followed shortly after with a two-RBI triple. Selbach capped off the scoring in the inning with a sacrifice fly to plate Welch.
After Bridgewater scored a run in the fourth to cut Emory's lead to 6-1, he Eagles scored four in the top of the fifth, including RBI hits from Hannon and Lake. Bridgewater scored again in the sixth, but Emory countered with a run on an Iturrey single in the eighth, and held on for the 11-3 victory after allowing a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Meanwhile, Emory starting pitcher Paul Merolla, making his first appearance since March 30th, was spectacular on the mound for the Eagles. He improved to 3-1 on the season with seven innings of work, allowing just two earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out five. Seniors Robert Gross and Mike Bitanga closed out the winning effort with an inning apiece out of the bullpen.
Iturrey was three-for-four in the game with two RBIs, while Welch, Hannon and junior centerfielder Wes Peacock each went two-for-five. Lake added a two-for-three game with two RBIs, two runs scored and two walks.
Bridgewater fell to 3-1 at the regionals, and dropped to 36-13 overall. Starting pitcher Corey Armentrout, who was pitching on two days rest after throwing 46 pitches during a rain-shortened outing against Birmingham-Southern on Wednesday, took the loss to fall to 6-4.
Check back at EmoryAthletics.com on Sunday morning for more information on the game time for Sunday's regional-deciding contest, as it is made available.
May 30, 2014 Hannon Named Capital One Academic All-American
May 23, 2014 Lake & Welch Claim National Honors
May 20, 2014 Welch & Monk Named UAA Athletes of the Week
May 19, 2014 Four Eagles Earn D3Baseball.com All-Region Accolades
May 14, 2014 #22 Emory Opens NCAAs with 4-2 Win over Rhodes
May 12, 2014 #24/30 Emory Heads to Demorest for NCAA Regionals
May 12, 2014 Emory Baseball Named to the NCAA Championship Field
May 2, 2014 Emory Holds Tight in Baseball Regional Rankings
April 29, 2014 Dillman Named UAA Athlete of the Week
April 25, 2014 Dillman Strikes out 14 as Emory Blanks Huntingdon 8-0
April 24, 2014 Eagles to Wrap-Up Regular Season against Huntingdon
April 22, 2014 Baseball vs. LaGrange Postponed Until Wednesday
April 22, 2014 Hansen Claims Fourth Conference Pitcher of the Week Honor
April 19, 2014 Emory Falls to NAIA #4 Georgia Gwinnett on Senior Day
April 18, 2014 Friday Baseball at Georgia Gwinnett Rained Out
April 16, 2014 Emory Shuts Out Berry 5-0 to Sweep Season Series
April 14, 2014 Emory Baseball vs. Berry Postponed Until Wednesday
April 12, 2014 Eagles Hold on for 5-4 Win over Southwestern
April 11, 2014 Hannon Records 200th Hit in 10-2 Win over Southwestern
April 1, 2014 Dillman & Maldari Named Association Players of the Week
March 31, 2014 29th-Ranked Emory to Play at Berry College on Tuesday
March 30, 2014 #29 Emory Splits Doubleheader with #10 Birmingham-So.
March 28, 2014 Weather Forces Changes to Weekend Baseball Schedule
March 28, 2014 #29 Emory to Face #10 BSC in Key Weekend Series
March 26, 2014 #29 Emory Falls in Ninth Inning to Centre College
March 25, 2014 Kahn & Hansen Named UAA Hitter & Pitcher of the Week
March 25, 2014 Kahn Named to D3Baseball.com Team of the Week
March 23, 2014 Emory Wins Fourth-Straight with 7-1 Victory over DePauw
March 22, 2014 Sunday Baseball Game vs. DePauw moved to 2 PM
March 22, 2014 Emory Baseball Sweeps DePauw in Saturday Doubleheader
March 21, 2014 Hannon & Lake Named to All-UAA Tournament Team
March 20, 2014 Emory Returns Home to Host Weekend Series against DePauw
March 16, 2014 Emory Defeats Brandeis to win 12th UAA Championship
March 13, 2014 Eagles win Third-Straight at UAA Baseball Championships
March 12, 2014 Lake & Weeg Earn Weekly Honors
March 11, 2014 Emory Defeats Wash U. 8-2 at UAA Championships
March 10, 2014 Emory Baseball Splits Doubleheader during Day 2 of UAAs
March 9, 2014 Eagles Strike First at UAAs with 7-3 Win over Wash U.
March 6, 2014 2014 UAA Baseball Championship Preview
March 5, 2014 Emory Rally Falls Short in 7-6 Loss to Oglethorpe
March 4, 2014 Peacock Named to D3Baseball.com Team of the Week
March 2, 2014 Peacock Hits Third HR in 14-2 Emory Rout of Rochester
February 26, 2014 Baseball to Wrap-Up Home Stand against Rochester (Mich.)
February 25, 2014 Emory Bats Come Alive in 13-4 Win over Oglethorpe
February 24, 2014 Baseball Aims to Bounce Back against Oglethorpe
February 23, 2014 Rough Eighth Inning Sends Emory to 12-9 Defeat at Methodist
February 22, 2014 Eagles Shutout 1-0 at Methodist
February 21, 2014 Baseball to Face Methodist in Weekend Series
February 19, 2014 Emory Handles LaGrange in 10-4 Win
February 18, 2014 Lake Named to D3Baseball.com Team of the Week
February 18, 2014 Baseball to Host LaGrange in Midweek Matchup
February 17, 2014 Iturrey & Hansen Selected as UAA Hitter & Pitcher of the Week
February 16, 2014 Emory Splits Sunday Doubleheader at Piedmont
February 15, 2014 Eagles to Play Doubleheader at Piedmont on Sunday
February 15, 2014 Baseball Defeats Piedmont 4-3 on Peacock’s Walk-Off Double
February 13, 2014 First Game of Emory Baseball Series vs. Piedmont Postponed
February 11, 2014 Baseball to Play Three against In-State Rival Piedmont
February 10, 2014 Lake & Dillman Named First UAA Baseball Players of the Week for 2014
February 9, 2014 Emory Baseball Wraps-Up Cali Trip with Win over Pomona-Pitzer
February 8, 2014 Emory Splits Doubleheader with 10th-Ranked Cal Lutheran
February 7, 2014 Emory Opens Season with 11-2 Win at Occidental
February 4, 2014 Emory Baseball Set to Open 2014 on West Coast this Weekend
February 3, 2014 Emory Baseball 2014 Season Preview