BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Eastern Mennonite took the lead with a run in the top of the second and the Royals held off Bridgewater College the rest of the way to take a 13-10 ODAC victory Wednesday afternoon.
Both teams scored three runs in the first inning.
Eagles starter Tristan Daywalt retired the first two hitters of the game, but the Royals loaded the bases on singles by Jaylon Lee and Ray Tricarico and a walk to Brett Lindsay. Corey Willis then singled through the right side of the infield, scoring Lee and Tricarico for a 2-0 EMU lead. Tyler McFadden followed with a run-scoring single to make it 3-0.
Bridgewater (8-17, 3-8 in the ODAC) answered in the bottom of the first. Jarrett Biesecker led off with a single and moved to third on Jacob Talley's double to left. Luke Paczewski scored Biesecker with a double to right to put the Eagles on the scoreboard, making the score 3-1. With two outs Ryan Skadra singled to right, scoring Talley. Paczewski scored when the ball was misplayed in the outfield, pulling Bridgewater even at 3-3.
Zach Roberts put the Royals back on top with a run-scoring double to centerfield in the top of the second and the Eagles would be playing catch-up the rest of the game.
The Royals pushed the advantage to 6-3 with two runs in the top of the fourth, but the Eagles got one run back in the bottom half of the fourth. Cameron Stanley led off the fourth with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Stanley moved to third on an infield error and scored on a two-out hit by Biesecker, pulling the Eagles closer at 6-4.
EMU (11-14-1, 5-7 in the ODAC) posted four runs in the top of the fifth to lead 10-4, but the Eagles kept pace with four runs in the bottom half of the fifth. Paczewski singled to start the inning and, with one out, Skadra walked. Stanley followed with a double down the left-field line, scoring Paczewski to trim the magin to 10-5. The Royals went to the bullpen and Kevin Navedo greeted reliever Ryan Brewer with a two-run double down the left-field line, making the score 10-7. Navedo scored on a double to right-center by Jacob Grabeel as the Eagles closed the gap to 10-8.
Bridgewater made it a one-run game with a run in the sixth. With one out, Brett Jones singled and then moved to second on a groundout. After Stanley walked, Navedo singled to left, scoring Jones to pull the Eagles to within a single run, 10-9.
EMU scored two runs in the seventh on back-to-back RBI-doubles by Tricarico and Lindsay to move ahead 12-9. The Royals added a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Lindsay to lead 13-9.
The Eagles put the first two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth. Matthew LaPrade walked to lead off the inning and moved to third on a single by Grabeel. LaPrade scored on a fielder's choice groundout by Biesecker to pull Bridgewater to within 13-10. EMU reliever Connor Lutz then retired the next two batters to preserve the victory for the Royals.
Five Eagles - Biesecker, Talley, Paczewski, Navedo and Grabeel - each finished with two hits to pace a 13-hit attack. Navedo was 2-for-5 with three RBIs while Biesecker was 2-for-5 with two runs batted in.
Bridgewater returns to action Saturday when the Eagles travel to Greensboro, N.C., to face Guilford College in an ODAC doubleheader.