CULLOWHEE, N.C. – An Adam Spurlin solo home run in the top of the seventh got Elon University baseball to within a run at 3-2, but host Western Carolina added two runs in the bottom half of the inning en route to a 5-2 final on Friday, March 15 at Hennon Stadium. The Phoenix falls to 9-8 on the season.
Starter Kyle Brnovich (1-2) took the loss after giving up three runs, one of them earned, on seven hits and two walks. The junior from Milton, Ga. struck out six across 6.0 complete innings. Dean McCarthy, Naushon Galbraith, and Joe Sprake also made appearances in relief.
Cam Devanney went 2-for-4 on the day and Spurlin finished 1-for-2 with the long ball, a run, an RBI, and a pair of walks. Anthony Galason batted 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
How It Happened: The Catamounts (10-5) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first. After the leadoff man reached on a fielding error, back-to-back hits loaded the bases for the home team. Joe Satterfield then fielded a grounder to first and flipped to Brnovich covering, but a run came in on the play. Elon responded in its next turn at bat as Galason doubled to the corner in right and moved to third on a Matt Oldham ground out. A pair of walks then loaded the bases for Tyler Stanley, and the junior was hit by a pitch for the RBI. WCU then retook the lead with a run in the bottom half of the second. After a one-out walk, a pair of hits through the right side of the Elon defense gave the Purple and Gold the 2-1 advantage.
With two away in the bottom half of the fifth inning, a single through the left side and a failed pickoff attempt placed a Catamount baserunner on second. A single back up the middle then made it a 3-1 game in favor of WCU. Spurlin closed the gap with a solo shot to left in the top of the seventh, but the hosts scored two more runs in their half of the frame. With runners in scoring position, a sacrifice fly to straight-away center allowed one runner to tag up. The next Catamount batter then doubled down the left-field line to bring another runner home.
Down to its final three outs, Elon put its first batter on as Spurlin reached on a fielding error by the shortstop. Unfortunately, Cranston helped out the defense as he grounded into a double play. Stanley drew a walk, but the Catamounts fielded a Garrett Stonehouse ball and got the force out at second to bring the game to a close.
Notes: Galason has now hit in seven straight games, the longest hitting streak for the maroon and gold this season. The freshman out of Colts Neck, N.J. has also reached safely in 15 consecutive games…Stanley’s streak of stealing safely finally came to an end as he was caught in the top half of the fifth. He is now 13-for-14…WCU has now won three in a row in the all-time series.
On Deck: Game two in the weekend series is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start tomorrow at Ronnie G. Childress Field at Hennon Stadium.