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Embarrassment of Riches: Emory Scores 82 Runs in One Day

April 29, 1996

ATLANTA (AP) _ The Emory Eagles baseball team won the first game of the doubleheader 30-0. They were just warming up.

By day’s end, they had scored 82 runs and allowed none, set 22 school records, set one national mark and tied two others. It was a day to remember on a campus better known for accomplishments in the classroom than on the ballfield.

``We played well in the first game, and it snowballed in the second,″ Emory coach Kevin Howard said. ``It’s just one of those fluke things that happens in baseball.″

``It was pretty weird,″ added shortstop Brad Wands. ``It’s probably once in a lifetime.″

The victim was the first-year baseball team of Morris Brown College, also of Atlanta.

They had met earlier in the season; Emory won 22-1 in a regulation nine-inning game.

In the April 16 doubleheader, Emory batted only four times in each of the five-inning games, averaging more than 10 runs an inning for the day.

The Eagles, who last weekend finished their regular season with a 32-14 record, had two 15-run innings. The 52-0 second-game victory included a 24-run second inning. They had 63 hits for the day.

Anthony Greene scored eight runs in the first game to set an NCAA Division III record. Pranat Kumar and Adi Virmani each tied the record for hits in an inning with three. Kumar also tied a national record with four doubles in a game.

``An embarrassment of riches,″ summarized the student newspaper, ``The Emory Wheel.″

Howard recalled that a few weeks ago, he lectured his players that there ``is no clock in baseball. If you’re down by 20 or up by 20, no lead is completely safe.″

He told them of another small-college game this season in which a team won 71-0, and reminded them that a major-league team (the Texas Rangers) scored 26 runs this season.

Morris Brown didn’t quit despite the lopsided score, Howard said.

``I told them we can learn a lot from a team like that. They never argued, they never pointed a finger at each other; they had a great team spirit.″

Wands said the Morris Brown players celebrated achievements such as stolen bases, and one player yelled out ``thanks for the curve″ after hitting a hanger for a double.

``They made the lighter side of it,″ Wands said. ``They were pretty enthusiastic.″

``As far as I’m concerned, that’s over with,″ Morris Brown coach Jim Mitchell said of the Emory doubleheader. The team coached by the former Atlanta Falcons player will compete in Division II next year after winning four games this season.

Neither school gives baseball scholarships.

Emory, more likely to be found on Top 25 lists for academics than for sports, was sensitive to the Morris Brown players, sports information director John Arenberg claimed. ``We’ve been there at the other end,″ he said.

In 1991, Emory’s first year of baseball in this century, the Eagles were 10-26 and were shut out nine times, twice by 15-0 scores.

About half of Emory’s players are pre-med students, and the team’s grade point average is a combined 3.12.

Howard, who came here in 1993 after serving as an assistant coach at Indiana, had to adjust to players missing practices because they were working on term papers or finishing exams.

He sat out most of his regulars in the second game against Morris Brown and gave senior Marc Bennett his first start. Bennett pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout.

Bennett then headed to Johns Hopkins University, where he will attend medical school.

``He called me to thank me for letting him pitch that game,″ Howard said. ``He said that’s something he’ll always remember.″

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