CHARLESTON, S.C. – Multiple sparkling defensive plays by the Elon defense were not enough as the Phoenix dropped the rubber match against The Citadel Bulldogs by a 6-1 margin on Sunday, March 8 at Riley Park.
The Elon (7-5) web gems began in the last of the fourth when, with the Phoenix holding a 1-0 lead, Ryan Cooper saved a run by robbing a home run for the final out of the inning. Quinn Bower then saved a run when he made a spectacular diving grab in right-center to end the fifth. Bower would later make a leaping catch near the wall in center. At short, Andy Moore made many outstanding plays, including ranging behind the second base bag to field a grounder, spin and firing a strike to first.
The Phoenix got on the board in the fourth when Casey Jones scored on a Joey Tomko single.
Elon starter Robbie Welhaf (0-1) carried a no-hitter into the last of the fifth before Ryan Kilgallen reached on a bunt single. The Phoenix led 1-0 until the last of the sixth. After Welhaf struck out the first batter of the inning, The Citadel (7-7) began its comeback with a walk to Jason Smith. The next three Bulldog hitters all singled, leading to a three-run frame and a 3-1 lead for The Citadel.
The Bulldogs added three more in the eighth to wrap the scoring.
Welhaf went 5.1 innings in the first start of his career. He was charged with three runs on five hits.
James Reeves (2-0) earned the win with seven innings of four-hit ball. He allowed one run and struck out eight. Skylar Hunter threw two scoreless innings for his fifth save.
Tomko notched two of Elon’s five hits on the day. Bower saw his streak of reaching base safely come to an end at 17 games.
Elon will return home to host Wake Forest at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10.