Franklin Springs, Ga. - Emmanuel Baseball was able to get their season back on track Wednesday night by defeating the Tornados of Brevard College in a 3-2 nailbiter. To say the least, offense was hard to come by for both squads on Wednesday, but the Lions were able to escape victorious due in large part to home runs by freshman Brandon HIll and senior Eric Pape.
How it Happened
As usual, junior Dalton Kuhn received the midweek start for the Lions, and it was clear early that he was zoned in. Kuhn retired the first six batters he faced in order, striking out two in the early going. Despite a leadoff single by Stephen Skeggs, Emmanuel was also held scoreless in the first, but would plate the game's first run in the second after Brandon Hill connected for a two out solo shot home run to left field to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
The Tornados answered right back, however, after Joseph Nelms started the top half of the third inning off with a leadoff double down the left field line. With a guy on a second and no outs in the inning, Brevard turned to small ball to get the run in. After a sac bunt by Brian Kahn that moved Nelms to third, Brevard's Donny Carsillo bunted to first base, successfully completing the squeeze bunt to score Nelms. The Lions were unable to get on the board in the third inning.
It was a quiet fourth and fifth innings for both teams as no one would cross the plate for either team. Tim Manning and Stephen Skeggs completed back to back singles in the fifth, but it wouldn't be enough as they were held scoreless due to a baserunning blunder that involved Tim Manning getting tagged out at home plate while in a rundown.
Then in the top of the 6th, Brevard got things going with a one out double to left field by Josh Hall. After stealing third, Hall was driven in with an RBI single by Schuyler Martire, giving Brevard a 2-1 lead. Kuhn held the damage to just one run, however, by striking out the next two batters. In the bottom half of the sixth, the Lions were held scoreless, despite a double by Josh Viveros.
Once again, both teams were held scoreless in the seventh, leaving the Lions with only six more outs to try and overcome their one-run deficit.
Then in the eighth, after Kuhn successfully retire the Tornados in order, the Lions answered big. After Brock Baughcum grounded out to shortstop to start the inning, Emmanuel's biggest home run threat came through for the Lions by launching a line drive home run that easily cleared the centerfield wall to tie the game at 2-2. Then the very next batter, Hanon Price, smoked a line drive into left field that the left fielder tried to dive for but missed. The ball rolled all the way to
the left center field wall, and Hanon Price went into third with what would be ruled a standup triple. With one out, the Lions were unsuccessful in manufacturing the run as Josh Viveros popped up to the shortstop, leaving the runner at third. Then, Ty Tipton was able to get the run in by reaching on a throwing error by Brevard's shortstop, giving the Lions a 3-2 lead.
Dalton Kuhn returned for the bottom of the ninth in hopes of completing the game himself. Kuhn was able to get the leadoff man to popup to Chaise Parker at short in what would be a 10 pitch at bat. He then was able to retire the next two hitters and would complete Emmanuel's first nine inning complete game of the season.
Dalton Kunn went all nine innings for the Lions, giving up only four hits and one walk while striking out ten in the effort.
Eric Pape hit another home run, giving him eight on the season.
Hanon Price is now tied for the conference lead in triples with five.
The Lions will have only one day of rest as they will host Barton College on Friday and Saturday for a three game conference series. Game one will be on Friday at 2:30 p.m. and there will be a double header starting at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information on the Lions, please visit www.goeclions.com!