Emory University senior Paul Schwendel set a new career-high with 13 strikeouts, leading the Eagles to an 11-8 victory over Methodist University in the opening game of a doubleheader on Saturday.
Schwendel allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks over eight innings, earning the win to improve to 5-3 for the season. The 13 strikeouts are tied for the most this season by an Eagle, along with Connor Dillman's 13 against Brandeis University on March 11th, and mark the third-most by an Emory pitcher in school history.
In addition, Schwendel became just the eighth pitcher in school history to break the 200 strikeout mark over a career. The senior now has 81 strikeouts in 77.2 innings pitched this year and 209 strikeouts over his career.
Methodist started their own strikeout specialist, junior Chris Perry, who entered the game with 115 strikeouts over 83 innings pitched, to go along with a 6-1 record with a 1.63 ERA. However, the Eagles touched up Perry for six runs on six hits over five innings, as Perry fell to 6-2 on the campaign with the loss.
Emory started their scoring early in the opening game on Saturday, as Daniel Iturrey drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single in the first inning. Jay Page and Wes Peacock each added RBI singles during the frame, giving Emory a 3-0 lead after half an inning.
After Methodist scored a run off Schwendel in the bottom of the second, the Eagles added on a pair of runs in the third. Jared Welch opened the inning with a double, advancing to third on a wild pitch and scoring on a Page groundout, his second RBI of the game. Kevin O'Connor added a sacrifice fly in the inning, scoring Iturrey, and giving Emory a 5-1 advantage. The Eagles added another run in the fourth inning, when Mark Lindemann scored on a Methodist error.
Methodist launched a comeback against Schwendel in their half of the fourth, loading the bases with one out and scoring two on a single from Dustin Brown to pull within three. However, Emory blew open the game with a four-run the top of the sixth, including two runs on an Iturrey single, and a two-out RBI triple from Page in the eighth, extending the lead to 11-3.
The Monarchs added on a pair more off Schwendel in the bottom of the eighth to make it an 11-5 score. In the ninth, Methodist scored two runs, and loaded the bases with nobody out to bring the tying run to the plate, but a double play and a groundout ended the game and gave the Eagles the win.
Welch extended his hitting streak to 11 games with his third-inning double, the longest this season by an Eagle, and finished the day two-for-four with three runs scored and an RBI. Iturrey and Page each drove in three runs, and Peacock finished the day three-for-four with an RBI and three stolen bases.
The Eagles improved to 23-10 for the campaign, while the Monarchs fell to 21-19. Emory and Methodist will play the second game of their Saturday doubleheader in Fayetteville, NC at 4:00 PM.