Emory clinches UAA title
Eagles claim first championship since 2008
SANFORD, Fla. -- Emory clinched its 10th University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship, and the program's first since the 2008 season, defeating the University of Rochester 15-4 in seven innings on Sunday night.
The Eagles improved to 4-1 in tournament action, assuring the team at least a share of the conference championship. Should Emory win its final game of the UAA Championships on Monday at noon against Washington University, the Eagles will claim their first outright conference title since the 2007 campaign.
Already finished with the tournament are Case Western Reserve University (4-2) and Rochester (1-5). Washington (2-2) will have its doubleheader day tomorrow with games against Brandeis (2-3) and Emory.
Working on just one day's rest after throwing 55 pitches against Case Western Reserve University on Friday, freshman Matt McMahon earned the start for Emory, and protected an early 6-0 lead for the Eagles. Emory jumped out in front in the first inning, as junior Jonathan Reilly picked up a two-RBI single with one out in the frame.
The Eagles extended their lead with a four-run second inning, keyed by a two-RBI single from senior catcher Patrick Riebsame, to take the 6-0 lead against the Yellowjackets.
However, Rochester would come back in the game with a run in the third and two in the fourth off McMahon, who would leave the game after four with a 6-4 lead. The Eagles added another run in the fourth when freshman right fielder Brandon Hannon scored on a throwing error, but Rochester picked up another score in the fifth to close the gap back to three runs.
Leading 7-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth, Emory would finally take control of the game for good in the inning, putting up eight runs on the Rochester pitching staff. Headlining the rally were senior third baseman Andrew Cohn, who picked up a three run triple with the bases loaded, and sophomore left fielder Daniel Iturrey, who added a two-run double.
Sophomore Mike Bitanga pitched the final two and a third innings for Emory, allowing just one hit and striking out two. The game was called after six and a half innings due to the 10-run rule, with the Eagles up 15-4. Bitanga, who has pitched five scoreless innings over two relief appearances during the tournament against Rochester, earned his fifth save of the season. McMahon claimed the victory for Emory, improving to 2-1 on the season with a 3.00 ERA.
Cohn finished the game one-for-four with four RBIs, while Hannon matched a UAA record with four walks in the game, scoring four runs and stealing a base. Eight different Eagles drove in a run during the game, while seven different Eagles picked up a hit.
Meanwhile, Emory's pitching staff held the Rochester offense to just six hits in the contest, and has now allowed just seven over the last 16 innings, spanning two games.
Emory improved to 12-7 overall on the season, while Rochester dropped to 4-6 on the campaign with the loss.
The UAA-clinching win for baseball caps off a historic day for the Emory Athletics program. Earlier in the day, Emory's softball team clinched the UAA Championships, marking just the third time (2001 and 2003) that both teams have won conference championships in the same season. Also claiming a conference championship on Sunday was the Emory golf team.
The Eagles will wrap up play at the UAA Tournament at noon on Monday against Washington University (Mo.).