The No.-1 ranked Emory University Baseball team brought the tying and go-ahead runs to the plate in each of the final three innings but was unable to complete the comeback as the Eagles fell to Piedmont College, 7-5, Friday evening in Demorest, GA.
The Lions jumped out to a 6-0 lead through the first three innings off senior Jackson Weeg before the Eagles scored their first run of the game in the fourth with senior Philip Maldari collecting a RBI with a sac fly to left to plate classmate Brian Hernandez. However, Piedmont added another run in the bottom half of the inning to head into the fifth in front 7-1.
The Eagles cut the deficit to two, scoring four runs in the seventh. Sophomore NJ Kim drove in the first run of the inning with a ground out to third to bring home senior Chris Young. Two more crossed home plate as senior Wilson Morgan and junior Nick Chambers scored as Hernandez reached base on an error. Senior Jeff Ronpirin scored on the following play as junior Bubby Terp advanced to first after another Lions defensive miscue. With two runners on and two outs, Maldari stepped to the plate with the score 7-5 but the Brooklyn, NY native went down swinging to end the threat.
In the eighth inning, the Eagles had an opportunity with bases loaded with only one out but could not cash in as Morgan was sent down on strikes before Ronpirin grounded into the force out to end the frame. In the ninth, Emory brought the tying run to plate with only one out in sophomore Thomas Baumgartner but the second-year infielder hit into the 4-6-3 double play to close out the ball game.
Kim paced the Emory offense with three hits and a RBI with Hernandez, Terp and Maldari adding runs batted in. Chambers tallied a multi-hit effort as well, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
The Eagles and Lions continue their three-game weekend series Saturday afternoon at Chappell Park in Atlanta. First pitch is set for 2:00 PM.