HPU Baseball’s Rally Falls Short In 6-5 Loss To Elon

• HPU’s ninth-inning rally fell short as the Panthers lost to Elon by a score of 6-5 in Aiken, S.C.
• Senior Cody Manzella
went 3-4 and recorded a career-high four RBI for the Panthers.
• High Point falls to 1-4 to start the 2015 season.

AIKEN, S.C. – The High Point University baseball team saw a ninth-inning rally fall short in a 6-5 loss to Elon on Saturday afternoon in Aiken, S.C. Senior Cody Manzella> drove in a career-high four runs in the loss.

“We just not quite good enough in any area right now,” head coach Craig Cozart said. “We aren’t pitching well enough, we aren’t making enough plays and we aren’t getting enough offensive production to put us in a position to win. We are in every game but there is a difference between being in the game and putting yourself in a position to win. We need to figure out how to go out and perform at a higher level right now.”

High Point trailed 6-0 after five innings and 6-3 heading into the ninth. Senior Dane McDermott reached with an infield single to leadoff and advanced to second when senior Spencer Angelis reached on an error with two outs. Manzella followed Angelis and laced a single back up the middle to drive in both runners. With two outs and Manzella on first, senior Brady Williamson came to the plate as the go-ahead run, but struck out to end the High Point rally.

High Point drops to 1-4 on the season with the loss to Elon. The Phoenix improve to 4-0 with the victory.

Nick Zammarelli drove in all six Elon runs in the contest and finished 3-3 at the plate with two home runs, two runs scored and a walk.

Redshirt-junior Scot Hoffman took the loss in his first HPU start. Hoffman pitched five innings and allowed six earned runs on six hits while striking out five.

Michael Elefante got the start and the win for Elon to improve to 1-0 on the season. Elefante pitched 5-1/3 innings and allowed one earned run on six hits and five walks while striking out three. Joe McGillicuddy recorded the save after allowing two unearned runs on two hits while striking out three in the ninth inning.

High Point fell behind early as Elon scored two runs on an RBI single by Zammarelli in the first inning. The Phoenix’s first two batters reached when Quinn Bower was hit by a pitch and Shumate singled. The pair both came around to score on Zammarelli’s bloop single into shallow left, putting Elon ahead, 2-0.

Zammarelli continued to extend the Elon lead when he hit a two-run home run in the fourth and again in the fifth. The two two-run home runs pushed the Phoenix lead to 6-0 after five innings.

High Point got a run back in the sixth inning on an RBI double by Manzella. Back-to-back walks by freshman Carson Jackson and sophomore Brenden Rivera gave HPU two on with one out for Manzella, who doubled to the left-field corner to score Jackson.

The Panthers continued to trim the Elon lead in the eighth, scoring two runs on a Manzella triple and a single by senior Tony Fortier-Bensen. Angelis reached third his long drive to center was dropped by the Elon defender as he struck the wall. Manzella followed with a triple off the wall in center to score Angelis then came in to score on a single up the middle by Fortier-Bensen.

Manzella went 3-4 at the plate with a double, a triple, four RBI and a run scored. McDermott finished 2-5 with a run scored while Angelis went 1-5 and scored two runs.

Kory Shumate was the only other Elon hitter to record multiple hits, going 3-5 with two runs scored.

High Point returns home on Tuesday, Feb. 24, when the Panthers will welcome Elon to Williard Stadium for the teams’ second meeting of the season. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.