ELON, N.C. – The Elon University baseball team could not overcome an eighth-inning rally by UNCW on Friday night’s opening contest of a three-game set, as the Phoenix fell, 6-5, at Latham Park.
UNCW (25-24, 13-6 CAA) put up two in the eighth and the go-ahead run in the ninth for the comeback win, nullifying a tremendous outing from Elon (22-29, 11-11 CAA) hurler George Kirby and a two-homer performance from Kory Shumate.
After allowing two UNCW runs in the first inning, Kirby held the Seahawks in check for the next six, allowing no runs on three hits. Kirby fanned six Seahawks, earning a no-decision.
Shumate, who came into the day with one home run on the year, belted two for the Phoenix on the night. His solo shot in the third helped tie the game at 2-all and his two-run bomb in the fifth put Elon ahead, 4-2.
Elon held on to a 5-2 lead heading into the eighth, but UNCW capitalized with a solo home run by Nick Feight and a pair of Phoenix wild pitches to tie the game up at 5-all.
The Phoenix put the tying run on second base with two outs in the ninth with Shumate after a walk and a pair of groundouts, but Kyle Jackson’s deep shot into center sailed to the warning track and into the glove of UNCW center fielder Brian Mims for the final out of the game.
Elon and UNCW play game two of this weekend’s series tomorrow, May 13, at 6 p.m. at Latham Park.