The Emporia State baseball team took on the Ottawa Braves yesterday afternoon at Glennen Field in a game that was
scheduled earlier in the week due to lost games over the weekend. The Hornets were able to get runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings to earn a 5-3 victory.
“We still don’t know a whole lot about our baseball team,” said Head Coach Bob Fornelli. “At least we got an opportunity to get out and play somebody else in a different uniform. Ottawa did a good job and came out here and played hard.”
Things picked up for ESU (3-0) in the third inning as Senior Second Baseman Andy Cotton hit a home run off the first pitch of the inning to give the Hornets a one run lead. After stealing second, senior infielder Jacob White scored for the Hornets off a second double by Senior Shortstop Dillon Hazlett to center field.
“That was a fastball,” Cotton said about the home-run. “I’m not a very big guy. I’m looking to go the other way up the middle… It got in on me a little bit. It was just one of those swings. I put a good swing on the ball, and it carried out for me.”
Hazlett himself scored in the inning off a David Albritton single up the middle.
In the bottom of the fifth, Hazlett continued his good day with his third hit as he led off with a single. Hazlett was advanced to third off a line out to center by Travis Whipple. Albritton again brought Hazlett home with an RBI single up the middle to give the Hornets a 4-0 lead.
Ottawa finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth after a two-run home run by Right Fielder Dustin Balmer with two outs in the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Joe Kornbrust reached base on a fielder’s choice. Kornbrust went on to steal second and third before being brought home off an RBI bunt by White giving ESU a 5-2 lead.
The Hornets survived a scare in the eighth inning. With one out in the inning and two runners on base, ESU secured two outs off a fielder’s choice and a fly out to left field. The Hornets held on in the ninth, allowing only one more run to get their third win of the season.
“We’ve played three games now in it seems like three, four weeks – a month,” Fornelli said. “This weekend’s going to be a big part to our season. Because we’re going to get an opportunity to play four games in a row, and it’s our job to out there and get better day in and day out.”
The Hornets are finished with the non-conference season and will begin the conference season this weekend. A three-game series will be held March 4-6 at Pittsburg State.