Senior Jeff Ronpirin's pinch hit two-run single with one out in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Emory University Baseball team to a 9-8 come-from-behind victory over Piedmont College Sunday afternoon at Chappell Park in Atlanta.
Ronpirin's walkoff capped off the Eagles' five-run rally over the final two innings to move Emory to 15-2 overall including a perfect 11-0 record at home. Senior Wilson Morgan and freshman Richard Brereton led off the inning with back-to-back base hits before sophomore NJ Kim reached on an infield single to shortstop with one out to load the bases. Ronpirin then stepped to the plate in lieu of sophomore James Pittinger.
On the second pitch of the at bat, Ronpirin drove a grounder back up the middle that took two hops, the second of which was a favorable bounce over Piedmont's Caleb Norton's glove and into centerfield. Morgan scored the tying run easily from third with Brereton right on his heels. Piedmont's Brady Ballstadt's throw from center was in time but Brereton jarred the ball loose with a collision at the plate before touching home plate to give Emory the victory.
The Eagles' comeback began in the eighth inning as the team plated three runs as an answer to Piedmont scoring four times in the top half of the inning to break a 4-4 tie. Junior Bubby Terp was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to push home sophomore Jackson Grayson before senior Philip Maldari followed with a big two-run single to score Kim and senior Brian Hernandez to make it 8-7.
Maldari turned in an all-around impressive performance on Sunday as the Brooklyn, NY native went 5-for-5 at the plate with three RBI to go along with six innings on the mound. He allowed three runs (2 ER) on five hits and a walk and racked up a career-high five strikeouts.
Kim and Brereton each collected two hits apiece for the Emory offense with Brereton, Morgan and freshman Ryan Adelman adding RBIs for the Eagles. Senior Chris Young was 1-for-4 at the dish to extend his team-leading hitting streak to nine games.
Senior Kyle Monk earned the win as he pitched a scoreless ninth inning with three strikeouts. Monk had to work out of trouble in the frame as he gave up a leadoff double to Taylor Burdette before Norton reached on a dropped pop up by first basemen Sam Brzowski with one out. The Cortlandt Manor, NY native proceeded to strike out the next two hitters to escape the jam. The win was Monk's fifth of the season, marking a new career-high.
Emory returns to the diamond Wednesday night with a top-five showdown against Birmingham-Southern College. First pitch in Birmingham, Alabama is set for 7:00 PM EST.