Elon Phoenix down for count after fight, but recover and survive to meet The Citadel again today at 1pm[The Final Countdown]

Posted by Andy Durham on May 29, 2010 at 10:19 am under College | Comments are off for this article

from the Elon Athletics web site:

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Mike Melillo’s ninth-inning RBI double broke a 3-3 tie and Elon added three more runs on a Ben Scott homer as the fourth-seeded Phoenix survived a Southern Conference Tournament elimination game with a 7-4 victory over the fifth-seeded Samford Bulldogs on Friday night. Elon, now 38-21 on the year, advances to face top-seeded The Citadel in a 1 p.m. game on Saturday.

Ryan Adams gave Elon an early 1-0 lead when he began the top of the second by sending a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall for his 11th home run of the year.

Samford (31-25) put its first two aboard in the bottom of the third as Wayne Miller doubled before an error allowed Michael Johnson to reach and leave runners on the corners. Mason Meredeth’s line out to center allowed Miller to tag and score the tying run. The run snapped a span of 20 consecutive scoreless innings for the Bulldogs against the Phoenix.

The Phoenix fourth began with a walk to Niko Fraser and a one-out walk to Adams. After Scott was hit with two outs to load the bases, Samford starter Kyle Putkonen uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Fraser to race home with the go-ahead score.

Elon’s fifth started with back-to-back singles from Alex Swim(Northwest Guilford High School) and Justin Hilt before a sacrifice bunt advanced both runners up a bag. The Phoenix was unable to push across a run, however, as a Fraser ground ball to the drawn in shortstop cut down Swim at the plate. Melillo then sent a deep fly ball to right that was hauled in on the warning track to end the threat.

Seth Canipe and Swim(NWG) led off the Phoenix seventh with back-to-back singles before Hilt reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Swim. With runners on the corners, Harry Austin grounded a ball to short and the Bulldogs threw home, but the throw bounced and Canipe scored Elon’s third run of the game.

Samford’s Tripp Swann drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the bottom of the seventh and moved to third when Stephen Ballard reached on Elon’s second error of the game. With runners on the corners, Brad Moss grounded a ball down the left field line to drive home Swann to make it 3-2 and leave runners on first and third. The Bulldogs tied the game when Miller grounded a ball through the left side of the infield to score Ballard.

Three walks, the last two with two outs, loaded the bases for Elon in the eighth, but Hilt grounded out to second to end the Phoenix’s threat.

With one down in the top of the ninth, Fraser drew a walk and then raced around the bags for Elon’s fourth run on Melillo’s double down the left field line. Adams followed with a walk before Scott crushed his second homer of the year as the Phoenix grabbed a 7-3 advantage.

Moss doubled to start the bottom of the ninth, moved to third on a wild pitch and then scored on Miller’s ground out to short to trim Samford’s deficit to 7-4. Jim Stokes then struck out Johnson for the second out before Meredeth lined a single to right-center. After Meredeth took second on a defensive indifference, Bo Smith drew a walk to bring the tying run to the plate. The Phoenix handed the ball to Kyle Webb to face Trey Hayes who grounded out to third on the first pitch he saw from the Elon freshman.

Stokes (2-0) earned the win after he allowed just one run on three hits in 2.2 innings out of the bullpen. Webb was awarded his fourth save of the year. Elon starter Daniel Britt gave up three runs (two earned) on just four hits in six innings on the bump. He struck out four.

Lex Rutledge (5-1) took his first loss of the season after he was tagged for three runs on just one hit in two-thirds of an inning. Putkonen gave up three runs on six hits in 7.2 innings while equaling a career-high with eight K’s.

For the Phoenix at the plate, Scott finished 2-for-4 while Swim was 2-for-3. Adams was 1-for-2 with two runs scored, one RBI and three walks. He has now walked 55 times on the year to set a new program single-season record, surpassing the 54 walks drawn by Brian Ingram in 2003.

Samford’s Miller recorded three of the seven Bulldog hits while Moss collected two hits in the loss.

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