Elon Baseball Phoenix, Tribe Split Double Dip

Posted by Press Release on March 29, 2015 at 12:47 am under College | Comments are off for this article

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – A day after rain forced the postponement of Elon’s Colonial Athletic Association road opener, the Phoenix split a doubleheader at William & Mary on Saturday. Behind an outstanding pitching performance and explosive offense, the Phoenix took game one 13-1. The Tribe then used a late rally to claim a 9-5 decision in the nightcap.

Game One

Matt Harris (3-1) was dominating in his seven innings of work, striking out a career-best 11 hitters and allowing no runs on three hits as the Phoenix improved to 4-0 in CAA play with a 13-1 victory. Harris struck out seven of the first nine hitters he faced and did not allow a hit until a two-out flare to left in the fifth inning.

Of the 13 runs scored by Elon in game one, 12 came with two outs. The Phoenix went 10-for-20 with two outs in the game.

Elon (12-12, 4-0) turned what looked like it would be a pitcher’s duel into a big lead in the fourth inning of the opener. After the first two hitters were retired, Ryan Cooper recorded the first of five consecutive singles by Phoenix hitters, which led to three runs. Two errors by the Tribe second baseman then allowed Elon to score two more in the inning to claim a 5-0 advantage.

The Phoenix tacked on another in the fourth when Chris King singled home Cooper who had reached on a two-out double. Elon’s lead reached 9-0 in the fifth thanks to a bases-loaded double off the bat of Joey Tomko.

Elon added three of its final four runs in the eighth, including two on King’s seventh home run of the season. The last came on James Venuto’s pinch-hit homer to right in the ninth.

William & Mary (10-11, 2-2) was able to avoid the shutout with a pair of doubles in the last of the eighth.

The loss went to starter Jason Inghram (1-4) who was charged with nine runs (seven earned) on 10 hits in 5.2 innings. The lefty struck out eight.

King finished game one 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, while Cooper went 3-for-4 with three runs and one RBI.

Game Two

After King hit his second home run of the day to put the Phoenix (12-13, 4-1) up 5-2 at the seventh inning stretch, the Tribe (11-11, 3-2) mounted a comeback. The inning started with an infield single before a pair of wild pitches and a walk put runners on the corners. An Elon error then allowed the first William & Mary run to cross the plate. With the bases full, a passed ball scored a second Tribe run to make it a 5-4 contest. With the bases loaded again, Phoenix pitching uncorked a wild pitch that brought home the tying run. A fielder’s choice earned Ryan Hissey a RBI and left runners on the corners as the Tribe moved in front 6-5. William & Mary would add another three runs in the inning to stretch the lead to 9-5.

The game started well for Elon as the Phoenix got three singles in the first, the last from King to score Nick Zammarelli.

After William & Mary had gained a 2-1 advantage, Elon tied it at two in the third when Zammarelli scored on a Casey Jones single. The Phoenix later took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when Kory Shumate picked up a RBI on a fielder’s choice.

Nick Beaulac (2-1) took the loss after allowing three runs (one earned) without recording an out. Starter Michael Elefante left after six innings pitched. He gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits.

Bryson Kauhaahaa (2-1) picked up the win in relief. He surrendered two unearned runs in three innings.

Zammarelli was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and King drove in three more runs with his 2-for-4 performance in game two.

The two teams will play the rubber match on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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