FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. - The Mars Hill baseball team dropped both of their contests versus Emmanuel Friday afternoon by scores of 5-0 and 4-2, respectively.
GAME ONE: EC 5, MHU 0
After seven and a half scoreless innings, the Emmanuel Lions erupted for five runs in the bottom of the eighth. Leading off the inning, first baseman Walker Smith homered over the left field wall to give the Lions a 1-0 lead. Phillip Swindell and Dustin McNicholl hit back-to-back singles, the later putting Swindell on third base. Both runners were driven in by a two-run double from Brock Baughcum to give Emmanuel a 3-0 lead with no outs in the third. After advancing to third, Baughcum scored off of a sacrifice fly from Jake Nichols. With one out, Jacob Teston doubled to right-center field and was driven in by the following batter, Jacob Saulnier, on an RBI triple.
Down to two outs left in the contest, Mars Hill's Gray McCurry was walked and advanced to second after Matt Honeycutt was hit by a pitch. With two runners on and two outs, Travis Owens was struck by an errant pitch, loading the bases. The Lions were unable to capitalize as their third strikeout of the inning and 10 of the game gave Emmanuel the game one victory.
Mars Hill left 17 runners on base and only mustered six hits in the contest. Daniel Vitello, Josh Hall and Travis Owens each had a stolen base for the Lions. Hall led Mars Hill with two hits, including a double.
Emmanuel registered nine hits with nine different players. Baughcum had two RBIs and scored one run to lead the offense.
Zac Brown pitched seven scoreless innings for Mars Hill, striking out five and allowing three hits. Kaleb McCurry, in two-thirds of an inning, is credited with the loss, giving up five runs on six hits.
Emmanuel starting pitcher Bryson Cornett pitched 5.2 innings, striking out five and allowing four hits. Austin Copeland struck out four in 2.0 innings to pick up the victory.
GAME TWO: EC 4, MHU 2
Four unanswered runs led to the Lions second loss of the afternoon.
Leading 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, Mars Hill would conceded two runs to let Emmanuel back into the game. Allowing the leadoff hitter to be walked, Dustin McNicholl knotted the game at two with a two-run homerun to left field. McNicholl struck again in the bottom of the sixth, driving in two more runs to give him four RBIs in the game.
Mars Hill's Daniel Vitello led the game off with a walk and stole second with Josh Hall at the plate. He later advanced to third before Hall struck out, one of 11 Lion strikeouts in game two. A groundout from Brett Brubaker allowed Vitello to cross home plate to give Mars Hill a 1-0 lead. The Lions went up 2-0 in the top of the fifth with Vitello scoring his second run of the contest. Hall doubled to right field to bring in Vitello.
Matt Honeycutt had two of the four Lion hits, including a double. Vitello had a hit and two walks in four at-bats to go along with his two runs scored.
McNicholl drove in all Emmanuel runs and went 3-for-4 from the plate. Jacob Saulnier also had two hits in the game.
Dalton Kuhn struck out eight batters and walked five in 5.2 innings. Cody Waters, in 1.1 innings, picked up the victory, striking out three of the four batters he faced.
Mars Hill drops to 1-5 on the season while Emmanuel improves to 4-1. The Lions return to the field Tuesday, February 13 on the road when they take on Limestone.