ELON, N.C. – With the game knotted at two going to the last of the eighth inning, Elon’s Chris King stepped to the plate and drilled a 1-2 pitch deep over the wall in left-center for his second grand slam of the season as the Phoenix defeated the visiting Northeastern Huskies 6-2 in the first game of a three-game Colonial Athletic Association baseball game on Friday, April 3.
King’s grand slam, the fourth of his Elon career, was one of three homers hit by the maroon and gold on the night. Ryan Cooper belted a solo shot in the bottom of the first and King added a solo shot in the sixth to tie the game at two. Cooper now has two home runs on the year and King raised his season total to 10 dingers.
After a rocky beginning, Elon (13-15, 5-2 CAA) starter Matt Harris (4-1) settled in and threw a career-best eight innings, striking out seven. He allowed two runs (one earned). The sophomore retired 13 of the last 14 hitters he faced before handing the ball over to Chris Hall who set down the Huskies in order in the ninth.
Northeastern (10-17, 3-4) scored both of its runs in the top of the first. With runners on first and second with two outs, Cam Hanley doubled to right. The first run scored easily, but the second run scored when the ball was mishandled at the plate on the relay home.
The Huskies had runners on in each of the first four innings, but could not manage any more runs. In both the second and third, Elon was able to turn inning-ending double plays. In the fourth, Northeastern had runners on second and third with no outs. After a mound visit from Phoenix skipper Mike Kennedy, Harris struck out the next two hitters. He allowed just one hit, a single in the sixth, after that.
King ended the night 2-for-4 with two runs scored and five RBI. His RBI total matched a personal best. Cooper also went 2-for-4 and scored twice.
The loss went to Nick Berger (2-3). He was charged with five runs (four earned) on five hits in 7.1 innings.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Elon’s Latham Park.