ELON, N.C. – It was another tight one for the Elon University baseball team in its series opener against Marshall on Friday, Feb. 23, as the Phoenix was unable to hold on to a late lead before the Thundering Herd pulled out an 8-6 decision in 10 innings at Latham Park.
Box Score | Play-by-Play
At the plate for Elon (1-5), Liam O’Regan (1-for-3, homerun) and Ryne Ogren (1-for-4) each drove in two runs, while Cam Devanney (2-for-4, two runs) and James Venuto (2-for-5, one RBI) each recorded multi-hit outings.
The loss went to Ryan Conroy (0-1) who had not allowed a run in his first two outings of the season, but was charged with three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings on Friday. Starter George Kirby went 7.0 innings and allowed five runs (three earned) while striking out five hitters.
Marshall (3-1) was paced by Andrew Zban who was 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and one RBI.
Gordon Cardenas (1-0) picked up the win after tossing 2.2 scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and struck out two.
How It Happened: With Elon leading 6-2 after six innings, Marshall cut its deficit to a single run with a three-run seventh. The Herd had a runner on second with one out when the throw to first on a sacrifice bunt was off the mark and allowed a run to score and the hitter to end up at second. Zban then hit the next pitch to left for an RBI double to make it a 6-4 contest. After an infield single put runners on the corners, Raul Cabrera’s ground out made it 6-5 before Elon got out of the frame.
The Phoenix clung to its one-run cushion entering the ninth. Erik Rodriguez led off by just beating the throw to first on a roller down the third-base line before a walk put two aboard. After a balk moved both runners into scoring position, Shane Hanon tied it with a ground out.
In the 10th, pinch-hitter Will Ray singled through the left side of the infield and scored on a Reynaldo Pastrana double to right-center as Marshall took a 7-6 lead. Pastrana would later score on a Rodriguez ground out.
Shawn Blake led off the Elon 10th with a bloop single to left and would move to second on a two-out walk, but a fly ball to center ended the Phoenix threat and the game.
Elon got on the board first in the third when Ogren singled home Devanney.
After Marshall took a 2-1 lead in the fourth, Elon would plate three in the fifth. Ogren drove in the first with a sacrifice fly before Joe Satterfield hit an RBI double to left and James Venuto doubled home another. The lead stretched to 6-2 in the last of the sixth thanks to O’Regan’s two-run homer.
Notes: All six of Elon’s games have been decided by two or fewer runs… This was the first meeting all-time between Elon and Marshall… Since the start of the 2016 season, Elon is now 43-2 when leading after eight innings..
On Deck: The Phoenix and Herd will play game two of the three-game set at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Latham Park.