Harrisonburg, Va. -- The Lynchburg College baseball team split its last regular-season Old Dominion Athletic Conference weekend series Saturday afternoon to secure a spot in the upcoming conference tournament. The Hornets fell to host Eastern Mennonite, 9-7 in 10 innings, in the opener but rebounded in a big way for a 15-4 triumph in Game 2 that cemented Lynchburg's place in the postseason.
Lynchburg will take the sixth seed into the league tournament and will open ODAC tourney play next weekend with a three-game series at No. 3-seed Roanoke.
The Hornets launched four home runs in the nightcap victory, a season-high in a single game, adding to two homers in the opener.
Game 1 Final: Eastern Mennonite 9, Lynchburg 7 (10 inn.)
Game 2 Final: Lynchburg 15, Eastern Mennonite 4
Records: Lynchburg (15-22, 8-12 ODAC), Eastern Mennonite (15-24, 6-14 ODAC)
Venue: EMU Baseball Field, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Lynchburg took an early lead on a solo home run by senior right fielder Will Harris (Halifax, Va.) in the top of the first, but EMU responded to take a 5-1 lead after four innings.
- Lynchburg cut the lead to 5-4 in the fifth, and freshman shortstop Parker Shaffer (Richmond, Va.) knocked in the next two Hornet runs with RBIs in the sixth and eighth for an LC lead. Senior first baseman Matt Ward (Newton, N.C.) smashed a solo homer in the ninth to extend the lead to 7-5.
- EMU rallied in the bottom of the ninth for two runs, and the Royals ended it an inning later when Brett Lindsay sent a two-run homer over the left-field fence.
- Senior right-hander David Goulding (Lynchburg, Va.) took the loss for LC, allowing four runs over four innings in relief. Tyler Campbell was awarded the win for Eastern Mennonite.
- Lynchburg scored early and often in the nightcap, kicked off by a three-run homer from Harris in the first inning before the hosts recorded an out. Senior catcher Matthew Cotton (Charlotte, N.C.) socked a leadoff homer for LC in the second, and the Hornets blew the game open later in the frame when Ward uncorked a grand slam to left-center. The Hornets batted around in the frame, Cotton scoring a second time on an RBI knock by sophomore third baseman Colin Corey (Springfield, Va.).
- Leading 10-2 in the sixth, senior center fielder Brad Hylton (Danville, Va.) knocked Lynchburg's fourth homer of the game and sixth of the day to add another run to the visitors' tally.
- LC added four more runs in the final three innings to keep the lead comfortable.
Lynchburg will end the regular season on Wednesday, May 2 with a home non-conference date with Marymount at 4 p.m. on James C. Fox Field.
The Game 2 victory cemented Lynchburg's berth in the ODAC tournament for the first time since the 2014 season. The No. 6 seed in the upcoming tournament, Lynchburg will head to Roanoke in the first year of the new tournament format for a best-of-three first-round series with the Maroons. Dates and times for the contests will be announced in the coming days. Check back on LynchburgSports.com or follow Lynchburg Sports on social media for the latest.