The third-ranked Emory University baseball program began the season with a pair of victories over George Fox and Pacific (Ore.). The Eagles broke open a low scoring pitching affair in the first contest, scoring seven times over the final two frames to defeat the George Fox Bruins 8-0 and in the second game on the afternoon, Emory knocked off the Pacific Boxers 8-4.
Junior Brian Hernandez had a huge day at the plate, going 7-7 with five RBIs and reaching base safely in every plate appearance. Senior Dylan Eisner and sophomore Nick Chambers both collected four hits on the day with Eisner leading the team with four runs scored.
Juniors Jackson Weeg and Hans Hansen combined to throw 12+ shutout innings to pick up the victories for the Eagles. Junior closer Kyle Monk recorded the final save of the second game to became the all-time saves leader in school history.
Game 1: Emory 8, George Fox 0
A pair of southpaws in Weeg and freshman Liam Kent were locked in a pitcher's duel for the better part of the game as both lefthanders traded zeroes for 6+ innings of action.
The Eagles broke the scoreless tie in the top half of the fourth inning as junior Philip Maldarimanufactured Emory's first run. Maldari reached first after getting hit by a 1-2 offering from Kent. He then stole second and then stole third. The Bruin catcher tried to gun down Maldari at third but his throw sailed into left field allowing Maldari to scamper home to put the Blue and Gold up 1-0.
Emory threatened to add more runs in the top of seventh as junior Wilson Morgan walked and advanced to second following a single to centerfield by senior Chris Slivka. Senior Ben Vizvarygrounded into a fielder's choice to give the Eagles runners at the corners with two outs however junior Chris Young grounded to the pitcher to end the scoring opportunity.
In the bottom of the seventh, George Fox put together their best scoring chance of the game, loading the bases with no outs with Brandon Wileman coming to the dish. Weeg fell behind Wileman 2-0 before being removed from the ballgame. Monk entered the contest in a seemingly impossible jam to get out of. But Monk did just that as he got Wileman to ground into a fielder's choice, nabbing the lead runner at home. Monk proceeded to get Riley McKean to fly out to shallow center field before striking out Kadyn Nannini to escape the jam and keep Emory in front 1-0.
In the eighth inning, the Eagles added three runs to break it open as Eisner had a two-run double to plate classmate David Coble and Chambers. Eisner then stole third and later scored on a Maldari sac fly.
Emory put the game away in the final frame, scoring four more times to provide the 8-0 final. Young plated pinch runner Cody Wetmore on a groundout to third. With the bases loaded later in the inning, Eisner worked a walk to push home Vizvary to make it 6-0. Hernandez provided the final blow with a two-run single, his fourth hit of the game, scoring Coble and Chambers.
Weeg went 6+ innings with four strikeouts and three walks, allowing three hits in the outing. Monk went two innings in relief, punching out a pair and sophomore Rhett Stuart closed it out, striking out one in a perfect ninth inning.
The team stole nine bases in the game, tied for seventh most in a game in school history, led by a pair from Hernandez, Maldari and Chambers.
With the victory, the Eagles improved to 18-8 all-time in season openers and are winners of six straight.
Game 2: Emory 8, Pacific (Ore.) 4
Hernandez continued his hot hitting in the second game against Pacific (Ore.), going 3-3 with three RBIs and one run scored as the Eagles picked up the 8-4 victory. Hernandez was one of five Emory players to have multi-hit efforts in the game as Eisner and Chambers each collected three hits apiece while Morgan and Maldari had two base knocks.
Hansen twirled six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and tallying three strikeouts to earn his first win on the mound in 2016.
Emory scored early in this one as Hernandez had a one out single to plate Coble in the top half of the first inning. Hernandez picked up his second RBI of the game in the third with a sac fly to bring home Eisner to make it 2-0.
In the fourth, Chambers picked up a run scoring double that plated Morgan to increase the lead to 3-0.
Hernandez had another RBI in the fifth as he singled through the left side to bring home Eisner again. Later in the inning, Morgan scored Hernandez and Maldari on a double and Vizvary added a sac fly to score Morgan to give the Eagles a 7-0 edge. Eisner scored another run, his third of the game, in the seventh on an error.
Pacific did not go quietly as the Boxers scored once in the seventh and three times in ninth but it was not enough to complete the comeback. Monk came on to record the final out of the game via strikeout to pick up his first save of the season. With the save, he became the all-time program record holder in that category.
Emory continues action in the Central Texas Tournament tomorrow with games against Whitworth and host Southwestern. The tilt with Whitworth is set to get underway at noon EST on the campus of Mary Hardin Baylor before taking on Southwestern in Georgetown, TX at 7:00pm EST.