HARRISONBURG, VA-The Hampden-Sydney baseball team dropped two close decisions to Eastern Mennonite this afternoon, falling 5-4 in the first game and 2-1 in ten innings in the second. The Tigers now stand at 14-18 overall and 7-10 in the ODAC, while the Royals improve to 13-23 on the season and 4-13 in league play.
Game one was evenly matched with each team getting eight hits, though the Royals were able to draw six walks to the Tigers' two.
Though Eastern Mennonite was the first to score with a run in the bottom of the third, Hampden-Sydney quickly took a lead with Chase Counts (Virginia Beach, VA/Ocean Lakes) and Devin Daugherty (Norcross, GA/Greater Atlanta Christian) scoring in the top of the fourth.
The Royals responded in the fifth with four runs to take a 5-2 lead.
The Tigers fought back in the top of the eighth with Moe Gothe (Chester, VA/Thomas Dale) hitting a triple to score Counts. Gothe then scored one batter later as Tyler Blevins (Draper, VA/Pulaski) drove him in on an RBI-double.
5-4 would be as close as the Tigers would get, however.
Blevins went 3-for-4 in the effort while Gothe and Daugherty each had two hits.
Harrison Moncure (Glen Allen, VA/Mills Godwin) was the pitcher of decision, allowing five runs – four earned – on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Trey Celata (Chesapeake, VA/Atlantic Shores Christian) threw 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and three walks.
Game two saw a strong complete game effort from Nic Graziano (Virginia Beach, VA/First Colonial), who surrendered just two runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts in 9.1 innings of work.
The Tigers' offense was able to get 12 hits in the game but stranded 12 runners on base.
Eastern Mennonite scored its run in the bottom of the first, and the Tigers tied it in the third with Blevins batting in Counts on an RBI-single.
Pitching and defense would then dominate all the way to the bottom of the tenth where the Royals hit a walk-off homerun.
Gothe went 3-for-5 at the plate while Counts, Daugherty, and Blevins each had two hits.
The Tigers will return home and host the Marlins of Virginia Wesleyan on Tuesday, April 24. First pitch is set for 4:00 PM.