Due to impending weather conditions in the area, Elon University and The Citadel have canceled the baseball game scheduled for 4 p.m. March 29 at Latham Park.
The teams will play a doubleheader Sunday, March 20 at Latham Park to conclude the three-game Southern Conference series. First pitch of Game 1 will be at 12 p.m.
Elon took the first game of the series, 6-3, behind five runs batted in from junior first baseman Casey Jones. Game time was moved up two hours because of rain in the forecast, but misty and wet conditions still ensued at the park.
“You always want it to be sunny when you’re playing,” Jones said. “I had a good day, but I like it when it’s a little bit warmer.”
Jones was 2-for-4 at the plate, bringing home runs on a three-run home run, a groundout and a double. He extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games and is now hitting .388 on the season. Jones is one of just two players to start every game this year for the Phoenix.
“Casey’s been in a place not too many guys have been since I’ve been here with how consistent he’s been,” Elon coach Mike Kennedy said. “He’s just in the zone. He’s been in one for a while, so we’re fortunate.”
Though he saw his streak of 29.2 innings without allowing an earned run end, junior righty Lucas Bakker earned the win for Elon. He went eight innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) on eight hits with five strikeouts. Senior Ryan Pennell pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Jones got Elon on the board first with a three-run bomb over the fence in left field during the third inning.
“You never know in this park,” Jones said. “We haven’t had many home runs here lately. I was looking for a pitch to square up, and I squared it up. I was lucky it got out of the yard.”
The Citadel answered with a run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly to center by Drew McKergland. Cooper’s throw from center reached home just too late, allowing the run to score.
The Bulldogs cut into the lead once more in the fifth when a Mason Davis groundout scored Johnathan Stokes, but Elon answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded, Jones grounded out to first, just enough to scored Travis Docimo.
Jones added to his career day with an RBI double to left field in the seventh to put Elon up 5-3. Chris Hall then brought home Jones on a two-out single to the left side.
The win ends a three-game losing streak in which Elon committed 11 errors and lost by a combined four runs.
“We needed something good to happen,” Kennedy said. “We couldn’t afford to lose another one.
“We’ve been in games, but we haven’t played well. If we keep making strides forward, we’ll be in the picture when it’s all said and done.”
Michael Elefante (4-0, 1.80 ERA) is scheduled to throw for Elon in the first game Sunday, while James Reeves (3-1, 2.78 ERA) will be his counterpart. Elon’s Jake Stalzer (3-2, 2.25 ERA) and The Citadel’s Austin Mason (1-1, 6.14 ERA) will do battle in the second contest.