ELON, N.C. — For the second day in a row, the Elon baseball team trailed heading in to its final at bat of the day and got a rally going. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, the result against Liberty on Tuesday was not the same as it had been 24 hours earlier as the maroon and gold dropped a 4-2 decision to the Flames at Latham Park.
Down by two runs entering the last of the ninth, Elon (11-6) got back-to-back singles from Sebastian Gomez and Danny Lynch to start the inning. With one out, Chris King belted a ball to deep right-center field that took the Liberty center fielder to the warning track where he dropped the shot to allow the Phoenix to load the bases. From there, Ashton Perritt beared down and struck out the next two Elon hitters to snuff out the comeback attempt.
“We have to let our guys know that we have to focus and we have to take care of the baseball,” said skipper Mike Kennedy. “I thought our mistakes were mental and it cost us a ball game today. In our program, we’re held to a high standard. There were some things that were just uncharacteristic of our club.”
Elon was the first to get on the board as Danny Crowe scored on a Casey Jones single in the bottom of the third
Liberty (12-6) came back in the top of the fourth to grab a 2-1 lead. With runners on second and third, a ground out by Will Shepherd scored the tying run. The next hitter grounded to third, but the throw to first was off the mark allowing the Flames to move in front.
In the seventh, Liberty extended its lead to 4-1 thanks to two unearned run that scored on a Danny Grauer double.
Elon closed back to within two, 4-2, in the bottom of the seventh when Crowe singled home Chris Hall.
Starter Tyler Manez (0-3) suffered the loss. He allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings of work. Three Phoenix relievers combined to allow two unearned runs on two hits in 5.1 innings.
Jared Lyons (2-0) was the winning pitcher for Liberty. Lyons gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits in seven frames. Perritt earned his sixth save of the season.
Both teams ended the game with seven hits. For Elon, Lynch and Crowe both had two-hit outings.
Elon will be back on the diamond at Latham Park to begin Southern Conference play this weekend against the Eagles of Georgia Southern. Friday’s first pitch is slated for 6 p.m.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E Liberty 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 4 7 3 Elon 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 7 3
Win – LYONS, J. (2-0)
Loss – Manez (0-3)
Save – PERRITT, A. (6).
Umpires – HP: David Pritchett 1B: Glenn Barham 3B: Gerald Trexler
Start: 5:00 pm Time: 2:39 Attendance: 278
Weather: 75 deg., Sunny, Winds: SSW 10