The Emory University Baseball team opened the 2019 season Wednesday afternoon in walk-off fashion, defeating the LaGrange College Panthers, 2-1, on a walk-off error at Chappell Park in Atlanta.
With two outs in the bottom ninth and the score tied at 1-1, sophomore Jack Rubenstein smacked a ball to deep short. LC's Rhett Hollon fielded the ball cleanly but his throw to first was off line, allowing junior Ryan Adelman to score the winning run. Rubenstein finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch.
The two programs were matched in a pitcher's duel for most of the afternoon with junior Richard Brereton and Gibson Bittner matching score lines inning for inning.
Emory was the first to score, scraping across the game's first run in the home half of the third. With runners on the corners following singles by Brereton and Rubenstein, junior Jacob Greene hit into a fielder's choice at second with Brereton able to score on the play.
The game remained 1-0 until the top of the seventh when LaGrange finally broke through against the otherwise tremendous outing by Brereton, scoring the tying run on a RBI triple to right by Trey Pearce.
Brereton concluded his season debut with a line of one earned run on four hits, spanning eight innings of work. He struck out eight and did not issue a free pass. Freshman Jack Brodsky earned the first win of his collegiate career, pitching a scoreless ninth frame with one strikeout.
The victory snaps a three-game losing skid for the Eagles against LaGrange. Emory has now won nine straight season openers including three consecutive home openers.
The Eagles continue their seven-game homestand to begin the year with three this weekend against Pacific Lutheran (Feb. 15), Whitworth (Feb. 16) and Christopher Newport (Feb. 17).