ELON, N.C. – Elon University baseball held an 8-1 advantage through five innings, but UNCG rallied with eight runs down the stretch to take the second meeting in the home-and-home series Tuesday night, April 23 at Latham Park.
Jack Roberts fell to 1-1 after giving up the deciding run on one hit in 0.1 innings of relief. The sophomore also fanned one opposing batter. Brandon Justice got the start and held the Spartans (23-15) to one run on four hits. He added one strikeout in 3.0 innings. Dean McCarthy recorded a team-high three strikeouts and allowed three runs, two of them earned, on six hits. Kyle Greenler, Naushon Galbraith, and Ty Adcock also made appearances.
Adcock made the biggest impact at the plate as the Oxford, N.C. native finished 2-for-5 and belted a three-run home run. He tallied four RBIs and scored a run to spark the offense. Cam Devanney went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs. Nick Cicci and Adam Spurlin both hit 1-for-4 for the team’s other hits.
How It Happened: The Phoenix (24-17) jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first. Anthony Galason drew a five-pitch walk and Joe Satterfield was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second for Devanney. The CAA Co-Player of the Week found a hole through the left side of the Spartan defense to put Elon on the board. Adcock then jacked a 2-1 pitch to just right of the scoreboard for three more tallies. Elon added another score in the second as Cranston walked, stole second, and moved to third on a ground out. UNCG’s catcher attempted a snap throw back to third to try to catch Cranston, but the ball hit him in the back and the freshman came home on the error.
The visitors finally broke through in the third. Zack Budzik led off with a single to the gap in right and then stole second. A Greg Hardison hit through the left side placed runners on the corners. Elon was able to turn a 6-4-3 double play, but the play allowed Budzik to come around.
Elon hung a three-spot in the fifth to push its lead to 8-1. A Devanney double down the left-field line plated Pico from second and advanced Satterfield to third. Adcock then singled to center for another mark, and the UNCG third baseman couldn’t field a Cicci hopper as Satterfield came home. The Spartans came up with an answer in the sixth, however. Three consecutive singles brought in one run. A passed ball then moved runners into scoring position, and a Zach Kuchmaner single to center made it an 8-4 ball game.
The navy, white, and gold pulled even with a four-run top of the seventh. With one away, Hardison reached on a Devanney fielding error. Greenler induced a fly ball to right for out number two, but another hit and a walk loaded the bases. Ryan Caveness then pushed a ball back up the middle for two runs. A second walk ran the bases full again as Galbraith relieved Greenler. However, a wild pitch and a failed pickoff attempt aided the guests as the Spartans knotted the score at 8-8.
UNCG pushed the go-ahead run across in the eighth for its first lead of the evening. Jacquez Koonce led off the frame with a triple to center field. Roberts was able to get the next batter to swing on strike three before being pulled for Adcock. Hardison swung at the first pitch he saw, driving the ball deep enough to center to allow Koonce to tag up from third. Elon would put up a fight in the home half of the eighth as Spurlin singled and moved up on a Tyler Cranston sacrifice bunt. Spurlin then took third after tagging up on a Galason fly out to right and Jarrett Pico walked to put runners on the corners. However, with two outs, UNCG’s Chad Sykes got Satterfield looking to escape the threat. The Spartans then retired the side in the ninth to end the game.
Notes: This marked the first start for Justice in his time as a Phoenix…With the win, UNCG takes both meetings between the teams this season. The Spartans earned a 4-3 comeback win on March 12 in Greensboro…Adcock’s long ball was his second multi-home run in the past four days. He also went yard in the series-opener at William & Mary last Saturday, with his two-run shot in the 10th securing the win for the Phoenix. It is also his 10th home run of the season, which leads the team…Adcock extended his hit streak to 10 games. He is now one game shy of tying the team’s longest hit streak of the season, 11 by Satterfield. Devanney is right behind him with a nine-game hit streak and has reached in 14 consecutive games…This was Adcock’s 15th multi-RBI game of the season and Devanney’s 14th.
On Deck: Elon is back at Latham Park tomorrow night as the Phoenix hosts N.C. A&T for a 6 p.m. meeting.