ELON, N.C. — In its opening weekend of Southern Conference action, the Elon Phoenix picked up a key series victory after splitting a doubleheader with the Georgia Southern Eagles on Saturday from Latham Park. The Phoenix bounced back from a 7-4 defeat in game one of the day to take the series with a 4-2 win in game two.
Elon finished the weekend with an overall record of 13-7 and is 2-1 in SoCon play. The Eagles fell to 16-4, 1-2.
Georgia Southern jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning of the opener when Kody Adams singled home Garrett Chapman. The Eagles extended the lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth on a two-run homer off the bat of Ben Morgan.
Elon pulled back within a run, 3-2, in the last of the sixth as Chris Hall delivered a two-RBI, pinch-hit single with the bases loaded.
Trailing 7-2 heading into the last of the ninth, the Phoenix tried again to rally. Back-to-back singles from Hall and Wil Leathers got things started before the next two hitters were retired. After a walk loaded the bases, Ryan Cooper doubled home two. From there, Georgia Southern closed the door on the comeback as the next hitter grounded out to end the game.
Jake Stalzer (3-2) took the loss after giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 6.1 innings.
The win went to Josh Wirsu (4-1). He was charged with two runs on three hits in 5.2 innings.
In the nightcap, Elon was the first to score. The Phoenix took a 1-0 lead in the third when Danny Lynch singled home Casey Jones.
The game remained 1-0 until the top of the fifth when the Eagles struck for two. The frame began with a Chapman homer. With runners on second and third with one out, Aaron Mizell singled to center to put Georgia Southern in front 2-1.
Elon tied the game in the seventh when Sebastian Gomez picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice. The next inning, the maroon and gold pulled back in front. Nick Zammarelli got it started by lining the first pitch he saw into center for a single. With one out, pinch-runner David Lowrey headed to third on a Hall double to left. Georgia Southern elected to intentionally walk Chris King to load the bases for Andy Moore who made the Eagles pay by blooping a single down the right field line to score Lowrey with the go-ahead run. The Phoenix added an insurance marker on Quinn Bower’s sacrifice fly.
After tossing 2.1 innings out of the bullpen, Ryan Pennell (1-0) picked up the victory. Pennell allowed two hits and fanned four Eagles on the night. Starter Michael Elefante gave the Phoenix a quality start by surrendering two runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings. He struck out five.
The loss went to Eric Alonzo (2-1) who gave up two runs on two hits in 2.1 innings of relief.
On the day, Elon’s Jones went 5-for-9 with two runs scored. Hall went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBI.
Elon will return to action on Wednesday as the Phoenix visits No. 5 North Carolina State for a 3 p.m. contest.