HARRISONBURG, VA --- The EMU baseball team enjoyed their home opener Friday afternoon, scoring in all but two of their at-bats en route to an 18-4 dismantling of Maine-Presque Isle. The Royals will look to carry the momentum into a busy weekend, as they host doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday.
The teams traded runs in the first before Eastern Mennonite went on top with two unearned scores in the second. Ryan Hedrick (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) launched a two-run homer to left field in the third to make it a 4-2 lead.
After EMU starting pitcher Jacob Brown (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) threw a 1-2-3 frame in the top of the fourth, the floodgates opened for the offense. The men sent 12 batters to the plate and punched out seven hits. Kyle Mathews (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) knocked in two with a single and Ryan McAlister (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) added a two-run double, as seven runs scored to open up an 11-2 cushion.
Griffin Stanley (Roanoke, Va./Cave Springs) got the Royals rolling with another big inning in the eighth, smacking an RBI double. Despite not getting the ball out of the infield after that, EMU scored four more times to make it 18-3.
The Owls scored a lone run in the ninth for the final tally.
Eastern Mennonite rapped out 16 hits and drew eight walks, as every starter reached base at least once. Jonathan Estrada (Miami, Fl./Doral Academy) batted 2-3 with two runs and two RBIs. Hedrick finished 2-4, with three RBIs and two runs as he hit EMU's first homer of the year.
Mathews was 2-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Stanley was 2-4 and scored three times. McAlister and Adam Posey (Poquoson, Va./Poquoson) headed up the batting order with two runs and two RBIs apiece. Brandon Carroll (Fredericksburg, Va./Stafford) was EMU's seventh starter with two hits and scored two runs.
Brown pitched six innings in his first collegiate start, getting the win as he allowed three runs on seven hits. Kyle Armstrong (Greenville, Va./Riverheads) struck out five as he picked up a three-inning save.
EMU's twinbill of seven-inning games with Juniata on Saturday starts at noon.