Elon Men’s Baseball Phoenix Drops Two at Samford

Posted by Press Release on April 5, 2014 at 11:32 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — After the threat of rain on Sunday forced the Elon baseball team to play a Saturday doubleheader at Samford, the Phoenix found itself down early in both games only to climb back in to each contest before the Bulldogs pulled out two victories by scores of 13-8 and 9-8.

With the losses, Elon now sits at 20-12 overall and 7-5 in Southern Conference play. Samford improved to 19-13, 6-3 and claimed its first-ever series win over the maroon and gold.

Game 1
Despite pulling within striking distance multiple times, Elon was unable to fend off Samford’s offensive attack in the opener as the maroon and gold saw its six-game winning streak come to a close.

Samford scored two in the first on RBI singles from Tyler Filliben and Heath Quinn before the Phoenix got on the board thanks to a Casey Jones sacrifice fly in the third. The Bulldogs answered that with a Quinn grand slam in the last of the third.

Trailing 9-2 after five innings, the Phoenix pulled back within three runs with a four-run sixth. With two aboard, Nick Zammarelli’s grounder to the right side went off a diving second baseman and into the outfield for an RBI single. Tucker Norton then connected for a shot off the batter’s eye in center that scored three. The homer was the first of Norton’s career.

Samford stretched the lead back to 10-6 in the last of the sixth before Elon made it 10-8 in the seventh. AfterRyan Cooper walked, Jones tripled off the wall in center to extend his hitting streak to 17 games and pick up his second RBI of the day. He later scored on a pinch-hit single from Chris Hall.

The Bulldogs put the game out of reach in the last of the seventh by scoring three times.

Elon mounted one last push in the eighth, loading the bases with one out on a hit batter, walk and single before a shallow fly out to center and a fly out to left ended the Phoenix threat.

Michael Elefante (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season after he gave up eight runs (six earned) on eight hits in 3.2 innings.

The win went to Jared Brasher (1-2) who gave up three runs on four hits in five innings. Andres Gracia recorded the final five outs to pick up his ninth save of the season.

Game 2
Trailing 6-1 after six innings in game two, Elon made it a 6-4 game in the seventh. The inning began with a single from Hall before pinch-hitter Tyler McVicar belted a 1-1 pitch deep and over the wall in right-center for his third home run of the year. It was the first pinch-hit homer for Elon since April 3, 2011. Quinn Bower followed with a double, went to third on a fly out and scored on a passed ball.

Samford pushed its margin back to four thanks to two in the last of the eighth. The first scored on a wild pitch and the second on a Filliben double.

Down to its final at bat of the game, Elon responded against Samford closer Gracia who had not allowed a single run all year long. Andy Moore got it started by reaching on an error and went to second on Bower’s bunt single. After a fielder’s choice left runners on the corners, Jones ripped a pitch to the gap in right-center for an RBI double. The hit was his only one of the game, but pushed his hitting streak to 18 games. The Phoenix made it 8-6 when Cooper, who had hit a solo homer earlier in the game, scored on Sebastian Gomez’s sacrifice fly. That brought Chris King to the plate against Gracia. King crushed a 1-0 pitch from the righty deep to left-center for his fourth homer of the season to knot the game at eight.

After the first two hitters of the ninth were retired, Caleb Bryson drew a walk. Pinch-runner Jordan Wren took second on a passed ball and then headed to third on another passed ball. On the later, the throw to third was off the mark and Wren was able to score the winning run.

Ryan Pennell (1-1) took the loss after being charged with one unearned run on one hit in 1.1 inning.

The win went to Gracia (2-0) who gave up four unearned run on three hits in an inning.

Elon will return to North Carolina to host High Point on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in its annual Vs. Cancer game. Following the game, players from both teams will have their heads shaved to raise funds to battle childhood cancer. To make a donation in support of Elon’s efforts, visit elon.vs-cancer.org.

Game 1

             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  R  H E
   Elon      0 0 1 1 0 4 2 0 0  8  9 1
   Samford   2 0 4 2 1 1 3 0 X 13 14 0

Win – Brasher (1-2).
Loss – Elefante (5-1).
Save – Gracia (9).

Umpires – HP: Michael Cheek 1B: Eric Johansen 3B: Randy Watkins
Start: 3:00 pm Time: 3:07 Attendance:
Weather: Sunny, 61 deg., Winds: N 7
Brasher faced 1 batter in the 6th.
Baker faced 3 batters in the 6th.
Curry faced 2 batters in the 7th.

Game 2

             1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R  H E
   Elon      0 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 4 8  9 1
   Samford   1 0 3 0 2 0 0 2 1 9 11 2

Win – Gracia (2-0).
Loss – Pennell (1-1).
Save – None.

Umpires – HP: Eric Johansen 1B: Randy Watkins 3B: Michael Cheek
Start: 6:52 pm Time: 3:03 Attendance: 937
Weather: Cloudy, 63 deg., Winds: N 6
Game notes:
Randy Watkins replaces home plate umpire Eric Johansen in the middle of the third inning due to injury.

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