ELON, N.C. – The Elon University baseball team received solid starting pitching and a pair of home runs to pick up its first victory of the 2016 campaign on Friday, Feb. 26, as the Phoenix knocked off the visiting La Salle Explorers by a 7-4 margin.
For Elon (1-5), Kyle Jackson continued his torrid start to the season, going 3-for-4 with his nation-leading fifth homer run and three RBI. Danny Lynch added a solo homer and Nick Zammarelli ran his hitting streak to 12 games dating back to last season. Zammarelli finished 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored. Ryne Ogren also drove in two with a 2-for-3 day at the plate.
Four different La Salle (0-5) players drove in runs, including Jared Melone who posted a 2-for-3 day. Collin McGowan was also 2-for-3 and score twice.
Phoenix starter Matt Harris (1-0) went 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out six. Chris Hall threw the final 1.1 innings of scoreless ball to earn his first save of the year.
The loss was charged to Joey Ravert (0-1) who was charged with four runs (three earned) on eight hits in 4.2 innings of work.
How It Happened: La Salle manufactured a first-inning run to grab an early 1-0 lead before Lynch led off the last of the second with his solo shot to center. With runners on the corners, Ogren’s infield single gave Elon the lead.
The Phoenix scored single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings before the Explorers got one back in the sixth to make it a 4-2 contest. Elon put the game out of reach in the last of the seventh when Jackson lifted a towering shot to left that soared over the wall for a three-run homer.
La Salle scored twice in the eighth to trim the margin.
Quotable: “I thought Matt Harris was very, very good for us. Jackson’s been pretty good since day one. Hopefully we can get a little momentum and build from it, but we still have work to do. We had a couple of opportunities to stretch the lead a little bit. There’s some areas we need to continue to work on. But you talk about needing a win in the worst way, we needed it.” – Elon head coach Mike Kennedy
Notes: Elon improved to 7-0 all-time against La Salle … The Phoenix earned its 550th victory as an NCAA Division I program … Elon snapped its longest season-opening losing streak (five games) since the same start in 1980.
On Deck: The Phoenix and Explorers will meet for game two of the three-game series on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 2:30 p.m.