AIKEN, S.C. – After relocating games to the campus of USC Aiken, the Elon baseball team split a pair of contests against High Point and Ball State on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Phoenix began the day with a 6-5 victory over High Point before dropping an 18-8 decision to the Cardinals in the finale. After earning the split, Elon sits at 4-1 on the season.
Nick Zammarelli was responsible for driving in all six Elon runs in the 6-5 win over High Point. Zammarelli went 3-for-3 with two runs scored, a double and two home runs for the Phoenix.
Elon got the scoring started in the last of the first when Zammarelli blooped a two-out, two-run single down the leftfield line. With Chris King on second after a leadoff double in the fourth, Zammarelli drove a 1-0 pitch deep over the wall in right-center to give the Phoenix a 4-0 lead. The next inning, Zammarelli connected on a 2-0 pitch and sent it over the wall in left-center for his second two-run bomb of the game.
High Point (1-4) chipped away with a run in the sixth before scoring twice in the eighth. In the top of the ninth, the Panthers got a leadoff single before back-to-back strikeouts by Phoenix closer Joe McGillicuddy put Elon one out from victory. High Point then took advantage of an Elon error and later scored two on a Cody Manzella single to center that made it a 6-5 game. McGillicuddy then fanned the next hitter to end the game.
Michael Elefante (1-0) picked up the win after allowing one run on six hits in 5.1 innings of work. McGillicuddy claimed his second save of the season.
The loss went to Scot Hoffman (0-1) who was roughed up for six runs on six hits in five innings.
Ball State (3-2) took advantage of two first-inning Elon errors to score three unearned runs to take an early lead. Elon got one back in the bottom half on a King sacrifice fly.
The Cardinals then proceeded to score two more in the second and four in the third before building a 12-1 edge after the top of the fifth. At that point, Elon rallied with a seven-spot in the last of the fifth. Three consecutive one-out singles loaded the bases for king who picked up a RBI on a ground out. Zammarelli then picked up RBI seven and eight on the day with a double to center. The Phoenix loaded the bases with a pair of walks before Brett Guba who unloaded the bags with a grand slam to right that capped the scoring.
Ball State would add either one or two more runs in each of the final four frames to extend its lead.
Jake Stalzer (1-1) took the loss after allowing eight runs (five earned) on seven hits in 2.2 innings of work.
The win went to Devin Wilburn (1-0) who tossed 2.2 scoreless frames of two-hit ball. He struck out eight.
Elon and Ball State will wrap up the weekend with an 11 a.m. game at USC Aiken on Sunday morning.