ELON, N.C. – After jumping out to an early 5-1 lead over 14th-ranked Maryland, the Elon baseball team saw the Terps offense erupt late in the game as the Phoenix dropped the first of a pair of midweek bouts by a 15-5 margin on Tuesday, March 17, at Latham Park.
After Maryland (13-4) scored the first run in the top of the second, Elon (8-10) came back with a trio of runs in the bottom half. Chris King led off the inning by belting a 2-1 pitch deep over the right field wall, his fourth home run of the season, to tie the game. With a runner on first with one out, James Venuto gave the Phoenix a 3-1 advantage by drilling a 1-0 pitch out over the same wall. It was the first homer of the freshman’s career.
The maroon and gold stretched its lead to 5-1 in the last of the third. With the bases loaded, Ryan Cooper’s infield single scored one. Nick Zammarelli then lifted a sacrifice fly to left-center for his team-leading 27th RBI of the 2015 campaign.
Maryland pulled within two at 5-3 in the top of the fifth and threatened for more before Lucas Bakker picked Kevin Martir off second to end the inning. The Terps then looked for more in the sixth and had runners on first and second with one out when Elon turned to Nick Beaulac out of the bullpen. Beaulac came on to fan the first two hitters he faced to crush the threat.
In the seventh, Maryland was able to knot the contest at five thanks to solo homers from Brandon Lowe and Martir. The Terps then took the lead for good by plating six runs in the eighth.
Bakker did not figure in the decision, but had another solid outing. The senior allowed three runs on five hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out four. Chris Hall (0-1) took the loss after being charged with four runs (two earned) on three hits in less than an inning.
Maryland’s Ryan Selmer (2-0) picked up the win in relief. He allowed just two hits in 4.2 innings after starter Brian Shaffer was touched up for five runs on three hits in 2.1 innings.
Elon and Maryland will wrap up the brief set on Wednesday with a 4 p.m. game at Latham Park.