ELON, N.C. – A strong pitching performance in game one was followed by a strong offensive outing in game two as the Elon Phoenix took both games of a doubleheader to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Penn State Nittany Lions in non-league baseball action on Saturday afternoon.
Elon (3-0) claimed game one by a 7-2 margin before wrapping up the day with an 11-6 victory. The Nittany Lions dropped to 0-3 on the year.
Jake Stalzer (1-0) tossed 6.2 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out a career-best seven hitters to lead the Phoenix to victory. Robbie Welhaf came on to toss 2.1 scoreless frames, fanning three, to claim the save.
Elon opened the scoring with two in the first as both Casey Jones and Nick Zammarelli picked up RBI. The Phoenix added one in the second by taking advantage of a Penn State throwing error to make it 3-0.
After Penn State got an unearned run in the fifth, Elon came back with two in the last of the inning. The Nittany Lions cut the deficit to 5-2 in the seventh only to see Elon plate two in the eighth to provide the final score. In the eighth, Kory Shumate singled home Andy Moore and then scored on a Jones single.
In the win, Jones ran his hitting streak to 14 games.
The loss went to Nick Distasio (0-1) who was charged with three runs on five hits in 3.2 innings.
Once again, Elon got things started in the first inning as back-to-back hits from Quinn Bower and Ryan Cooperput runners on the corners for Jones who drove home one on a fielder’s choice. The Phoenix stretched its edge to 3-0 in the second with Bower’s bases-loaded single up the middle.
With Elon up 3-1 in the last of the third, the maroon and gold scored three times. With Moore on first with two outs, Bower singled ahead of a double steal. Cooper then doubled both runners home with a shot to left-center before scoring on a Chris King double.
After both teams had scored one more run, Elon stretched its edge to 9-2 in the last of the sixth when King belted a two-run homer over the wall in right.
Penn State did not go quietly, however, as the Nittany Lions got two in the seventh and two in the eighth before Elon put the contest away with a two-run bottom of the eighth.
The victory went to Lucas Bakker (1-0) who gave up two runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings.
Penn State’s Taylor Lehman (0-1) surrendered six runs on nine hits in 3.2 innings to take the loss.
Over the course of the two games, King went 4-for-9 with two runs, three RBI, two doubles and a home run. Jones finished 3-for-6 with three runs scored and three RBI. Bower also tallied a 4-for-9 day, scoring three times, driving in two and stealing two bags.
Elon is scheduled to host High Point in a 4 p.m. bout on Wednesday, Feb. 18.