CENTRAL – A five-run ninth inning rally gave the Warriors the series win over Emmanuel, 6-5, on Sunday. The Warriors trailed 5-1 entering the inning.
SWU and Emmanuel baseball split the opening doubleheader of their delayed weekend series on Saturday. The Warriors prevailed 5-2 in game one before the Lions stormed back late to take game two 9-5. In game two, the Warriors prevailed 6-5.
Southern Wesleyan (5-4, 2-1 SSAC) was helped along the way Sunday as they had just one hit in the inning. Emmanuel walked five and hit two batters in the inning, the lone hit came off the bat of J.J. Julian who delivered one run with a bases-loaded two-out single to left-center. The Lions (4-5, 1-2 SSAC) walked or hit five batters with two outs.\
The Warriors managed just six hits in the first eight innings, scoring just one time in the sixth after Emmanuel had already built a 5-0 lead. Julian and Daniel Williams each doubled in the frame to notch the first run for the Warriors.
SWU looked a little out of sorts in the field as they played a rare Sunday game. The Warriors committed five errors in the game, they had only 10 errors on the season entering the game. The pitching staff was able to control most of the damage caused by errors as only two runs scored in an inning with an error.
Emmanuel built their lead in the middle of the game, scoring twice in the fourth inning and three times in the fifth, knocking out starter Tim O’Callaghan in the process. O’Callaghan lasted just 4.1 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs, four of which were earned. He did not walk a batter and struck out one.
The SWU bullpen came in to do a masterful job, allowing just one hit and two walks in 4.2 innings of work. Justin Adams and Jordan Finster kept the game close before the late rally. Finster earned the win, his first decision of the season, pitching three innings and allowing just a single. He struck out three.
The Emmanuel side was just the opposite as they got a terrific performance from starter Riley Sparks before the bullpen blew it. Sparks tossed eight innings of six-hit, one-run baseball and struck out six. He walked just one.
The bullpen of Mason Tyler and Matt Kennison combined to get just two outs and walked five and also hit two batters in the ninth inning. Kennison took the loss in his first decision of the season.
Three Warriors had two hits each as Julian, Williams and Julio Lara each had multi-hit efforts. Julian scored twice while Williams had a pair of RBI and two doubles.
SWU continued their season-opening home stretch by hosting Milligan on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Warriors will also play at home on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday this week.