CHARLESTON, S.C. – An 18-hit offensive attack by Elon helped the Phoenix to claim a 12-3 victory over The Citadel Bulldogs in the series opener of a non-league baseball series at Riley Park on Friday, March 6.
Seven of Elon’s nine starters had at least one hit and six scored at least one run as the Phoenix improved to 7-3 on the season. The Citadel mustered just four hits, all over the first seven innings, and fell to 5-7.
Elon opened the scoring in the top of the third when Joey Tomko singled through the left side of the infield to drive in two runs. After the Bulldogs got one back in the last of the third, the Phoenix plated another two in the fourth. The two fourth-inning markers came in when Casey Jonessingled to left.
Up 4-1 going to the fifth, the Elon offense erupted for six runs, all with two outs. With runners on the corners and two away, Bower singled home Elon’s fifth run of the game. A Kory Shumate single plated two runs to make it 7-1. On the hit, an error allowed Shumate to head to third base. Another error on a botched run down allowed Shumate to score. A walk and single then put runners back on the corners before a muffed throw on a stolen base attempt let in the Phoenix’s fifth marker of the frame. A Chris King single would drive home the final run as Elon held a 10-1 edge in the middle of the fifth.
Elon added single runs in both the eighth and ninth with Andy Moore and Wil Leathers picking up RBI. The Citadel’s final two runs scored thanks to Phoenix errors in the last of the eighth.
Nearly lost in the offensive outburst was the quality start by Elon’s Matt Harris (2-0). Harris picked up the win after scattering four hits and striking out seven in seven innings.
Six Elon players had multi-hit games, led by four hits from Bower. Austin Leeney, Ryan Cooper and Jones all had three hits, while both Shumate and Tomko posted two hits.
The Citadel’s JP Sears (2-2) took the loss after being charged with four runs on six hits in four innings.
The two teams will play game two of the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.