CHARLESTON, S.C. — After jumping out to an early lead, the Elon baseball team saw The Citadel plate eight runs in the middle three innings as the Phoenix dropped a 10-7 decision to the Bulldogs in a Southern Conference Tournament elimination game on Tuesday afternoon. The loss ends Elon’s season with a 27-26 overall record.
“I think today’s game really was a painting of our year,” said Elon head coach Mike Kennedy. “We got off to a good start and did some things well in the game, but we just didn’t finish. Our year was like that. We got off to a really good start and then we just didn’t finish well in the back end of our season. We had way too many missed opportunities today, especially with pitching. We got in some deep counts and then struggled to throw strikes. You have to give The Citadel a lot of credit; they made us pay when we made a mistake. I think that the game was really just a tale of our season.”
Trailing 1-0 going to the last of the third, the Elon offense erupted for six runs. The Phoenix loaded the bases with one out before Tyler McVicar singled home two runs. On the play, a Bulldog error allowed a third run to score. Nick Zammarelli followed with a double to make it a 4-1 game and later crossed home on an Andy Moore single. The final run scored as Chris Hall reached on a fielder’s choice.
The Citadel (24-32) came right back with a five-run fourth. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with one away for Ryan Kilgallen who picked up an RBI on an infield single. A Phoenix error on the play allowed a second run to score to make it 6-3. After a Calvin Orth single made it 6-4, Hughston Armstrong tied it with a two-RBI single to center.
SoCon Player of the Year put the maroon and gold back on top in the bottom of the fourth as he sent a 3-2 pitch from Zach Sherrill over the wall in right for a solo homer, his seventh of the season.
In the fifth, The Citadel tied it back up on a Bret Hines single before moving in front for good on an Orth single. The Bulldogs added a run in the sixth and one in the ninth to complete the scoring.
Matt Harris (3-3) was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings out of the pen.
Sherrill (4-1) earned the victory after going 3.2 innings in relief. He allowed one run on two hits. Skylar Hunter threw three scoreless innings to claim his 15th save of the season.
Jones went 1-for-4 to end the season with a 12-game hitting streak. He posted a .418 batting average for the year to become just the third Phoenix player to end the year at .400 or above in the program’s Division I tenure, and the first since Pat Irvine hit .402 in 2009. In fact, Jones’ .418 average was the best for an Elon player since Jeff Kipila batted .438 in 1988. Jones also claimed Elon’s triple crown as he led the team in average, homers (seven) and RBI (53).
Zammarelli finished his rookie season with a 13-game hitting streak after going 1-for-3 in Tuesday’s tilt.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E Citadel 1 0 0 5 2 1 0 0 1 10 11 2 Elon 0 0 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 9 2
Win – Sherrill (4-1). Loss – Harris (3-3). Save – Hunter (15).
Umpires – HP: Barry Chambers 1B: Randy Watkins 2B: Steve Sanders 3B: Randy Vestal
Start: 4:24 pm Time: 3:07 Attendance: 910
Weather: Clear, 77 deg., Winds: SSE 11