Stutts Leads W&L Baseball Over Eastern Mennonite, 6-5
LEXINGTON, Va. -- Junior shortstop Jonathan Stutts (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Country Day) was 4-for-5 with three RBIs and the Washington and Lee baseball team held on for a 6-5 win over Eastern Mennonite on Wednesday evening at Cap'n Dick Smith Field.
Stutts recorded his first-career four-hit game with three singles and a first-inning double to lead W&L (13-15, 6-7 ODAC). In addition to his three runs driven in, he scored twice had two of the Generals' six stolen bases.
W&L opened the scoring in the first inning as Stutts led off the game with a double down the left field line and then moved to third on a wild pitch. A pair of walks loaded the bases before junior Alex Mait (Chesterfield, Va./Clover Hill) lofted a sacrifice fly to center that allowed Stutts to score and give the Generals a 1-0 lead.
Another walk kept the bases loaded with one out, before EMU (10-19, 3-8) junior Casey Harlow (Louisa, Va./Louisa County) induced junior Luke Deary (Carlisle, Mass./Groton School) to hit into an inning-ending double play.
The Generals increased their lead to 3-0 in the second inning as Stutts hit a two-run single to left that scored junior Chris Nault (Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood) and senior Mike Decembrino (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury).
The Royals crept to within a run at 3-2 in the third inning on RBI base hits by senior Daryl Smith (Sterling, Va./Park View) and junior Michael Wade (New Hope, Va./Fort Defiance).
EMU pulled even at 3-3 in the top of the fifth on another Smith RBI single before the Generals regained the lead, 4-3, in the bottom of the frame when Stutts singled, stole second and then scored on junior Will Salley's (Augusta, Ga./Westside) single.
Eastern Mennonite took its first lead of the contest, 5-4, with a pair of runs in the sixth inning.
However, the Generals came back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame on an RBI infield single by Stutts and an EMU throwing error on the play allowed the Decembrino to score all the way from second for the game-clinching run.
Junior Ian Shaw (Atlanta, Ga./Riverwood) earned the win with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief of senior Jody Davis (McLean, Va./Langley). Shaw yielded just two hits to the Royals. Senior Pat Smith (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) nailed down the save with a perfect ninth inning.
Harlow took the loss, allowing six runs (4 ER) on six hits and five walks and five strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Senior Alston James (Columbia, S.C./Hammond) supplemented Stutts' career day with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate and one run scored. Decembrino was 1-for-3 with a walk, scored twice and swiped a pair of bags.
Smith finished 4-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs to lead the Royals. First-year Justin Rodriguez (Miramar, Fla./Pace), senior Beau Banglesdorf (Stafford, Va./Mountain View) and junior B.J. Mortimer (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) all had two base hits for the Royals who banged out 14 hits, but managed just one extra-base knock.
Washington and Lee will now break for finals, returning to action on April 14, in a doubleheader at Virginia Wesleyan set to begin at 12:00 pm.