ELON, N.C. – Three early errors, along with walks and wild pitches, were the downfall of the Elon baseball team in a 10-5 loss on Tuesday, March 31, against the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Elon pitchers combined to issue 12 walks and throw four wild pitches and the Tar Heels offense took advantage of those situations.
North Carolina (17-11) took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, but did not record a hit. The inning began with back-to-back walks before a wild pitch advanced both runners. With one out, a second wild pitch brought home the first run of the game. With runners on the corners following a walk, Elon (12-15) got a ground ball that could have gotten the Phoenix out of the frame. Instead, the maroon and gold committed two errors on the play and UNC grabbed a 2-0 lead. A RBI ground out and third Elon error accounted for the final two runs of the inning.
The Phoenix got one back in the bottom half when Ryan Cooper singled home Nick Zammarelli. With UNC up 5-1 in the fifth, Elon chipped away, scoring once on Austin Leeney’s first home run in an Elon uniform.
UNC answered with another four-spot in the sixth, including scoring twice on bases-loaded walks.
The Tar Heel edge reached 10-2 in the seventh before Elon put up three in the last of that frame. Chris Kinggot it started with a double to left-center, moved to third on a ground out and scored when a sacrifice fly was dropped in left. A Leeney triple plated the next run and he later scored on a fielder’s choice to make it a 10-5 contest.
Mike Krill (1-1) took the loss after allowing five runs (three earned) on three hits in four-plus innings of work.
The win went to Hunter Williams (2-1) who gave up two runs on two hits in six innings.
Elon will remain at home for a three-game CAA series against Northeastern this weekend. The Phoenix and Huskies will open the set on Friday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m.