HARRISONBURG, Va. — The Washington and Lee baseball team totaled a season-high 12 runs en route to an eight-run (12-4) victory at Eastern Mennonite on Thursday.
The Generals (9-14, 2-7 ODAC) grabbed their first lead of the game with back-to-back home runs in the top of the sixth inning. Trailing, 2-1, with one out in the frame, senior third baseman Paul Diven (Sparrows Point, Md./Archbishop Spalding) launched a solo homer to left to tie the contest (2-2), and then senior right fielder Robey Smalley (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Tuscaloosa Academy) sent a solo shot over the wall in right to give the Blue and White a 3-2 lead. It was the second home run of the season for Diven and the first collegiate long ball for Smalley.
W&L added to its advantage in the seventh. Junior first baseman Zach Loewenberg (Baltimore, Md./Friends School of Baltimore) led off the inning with a single down the right field line. He advanced to second on a passed ball and then junior shortstop Chadwick Feeley (Jacksonville, Fla./Episcopal School) walked to put two runners on base.
The Royals (11-13, 2-7 ODAC) brought in first-year pitcher Jonathan Nagle to get out of the jam, and the Blue and White countered with senior pinch hitter Austin Crane (Darien, Conn./Fairfield College Prep). Crane attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but he popped out to Nagle on the attempt.
Loewenberg still advanced to third on the play due to a throwing error by Nagle. Sophomore center fielder Ryan Monson (Frisco, Texas/Wakeland) brought home Loewenberg (4-2) on a fielder's choice to first where EMU failed to register an out. Diven then walked to load the bases, and a RBI single by Smalley pushed the W&L advantage to 5-2.
Junior left fielder Matthew Jones (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin) lifted a sacrifice fly to right to give the Blue and White a 6-2 lead, and sophomore catcher Bryce Burnette (Hurt, Va./Gretna) capped the four-run rally with a one-run single to center to stretch the margin to 7-2.
The Royals tallied two runs in the bottom of the seventh to trim the deficit to 7-4, but the Generals answered with five runs in the ninth on a couple of EMU errors, a two-run double by first-year second baseman Jason Volpicelli (Great Falls, Va./Paul VI Catholic) and a RBI ground out by Crane to reach the final margin.
Loewenberg was near perfect in his six plate appearances. He finished the game 4-for-5 with two runs, a double and a walk. Smalley was 3-for-4 with two RBI, two runs and a walk, and Diven was 2-for-4 with one RBI, three runs and a walk.
Sophomore pitcher Tom Kellogg (San Antonio, Texas/Saint Mary's Hall) came out of the bullpen to earn his first victory of the year for W&L to improve to 1-0. He did not allow a run on two hits in 2.1 innings pitched.
Junior Danny Devereux (Mount Prospect, Ill./Prospect) threw the final 2.0 innings to register his fourth save of the year. He gave up no runs and no hits with two punchouts. He improved his W&L career saves record to 17.
Senior pitcher Tristan Childress suffered the loss for EMU. He allowed two runs on three hits in 1.0 inning to fall to 1-1.
W&L returns to action on Saturday, when it hosts 10th-ranked Randolph-Macon for a doubleheader starting at 1:00 pm.
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