HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – A leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Hofstra Pride to a 5-4 victory over the Elon University baseball team in the deciding game of a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series on Sunday afternoon.
Ryne Ogren and Kory Shumate each had two of Elon’s (21-27, 11-10 CAA) seven hits, while Zach Evers drove in a pair of runs for the Phoenix.
Vinnie Costello was 2-for-4 with the game-winning homer and two runs scored to lead Hofstra (13-32, 6-12 CAA).
Robbie Welhaf (4-5) took the loss after allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits in 2.0 innings. Elon starter Ryan Conroy went 6.0 innings and was charged with three runs (two earned) on six hits. He struck out seven.
Chris Weiss (5-2) picked up the win after striking out six in 2.2 innings of relief.
How It Happened: With the score all square at four going to the last of the ninth, Hofstra’s Costello was able to drive a 3-2 pitch just over the fence in left-center to earn the Pride a walk-off victory.
After Elon stranded a pair of runners in the top of the first, Hofstra grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the frame after its first two hitters reached on a walk and single to put runners on the corners. Vito Friscia’s sacrifice fly to center scored the first run of the game. A pair of stolen bases put a Pride runner at third with one out when Brad Witkowski singled to third to plate the second run.
Elon loaded the bases in the fifth with a Shumate single, a hit batter and a walk before Evers also walked to force home the first Phoenix run of the game. Joe Satterfield’s slow roller to short allowed Hofstra to eliminate the runner heading toward second, but tied the game as Mike Borucki scored.
The Pride went back on top in the sixth as Witkowski doubled to center to lead off the inning before moving to third on a passed ball. Rob Weissheier fouled a ball off down the right field line where Ty Adcock hauled it in for the first out. Witkowski tagged from third and just barely beat the throw to the plate to give Hofstra a 3-2 advantage.
Borucki got things going for the Phoenix in the seventh with a single through the left side of the infield. After a sacrifice bunt, Evers lined a single up the middle to knot the game at three apiece. With two aboard after a walk, Ogren grounded one through the left side to put the maroon and gold in front as Evers scored from second.
Elon’s lead was short-lived as Hofstra tied it with an unearned run on a Tom Archer sacrifice fly in the bottom half.
Notes: Elon dropped to 4-5 in one-run games this season… The Phoenix was just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
On Deck: The Phoenix will play its final road game of the regular season on Tuesday when the maroon and gold visits Liberty for a 6 p.m. game in Lynchburg, Va.