Despite fruitful comebacks in each game, the Elon University baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader on the road at Samford University. The Phoenix lost the first game 13-8 and the second 9-8, swinging the series to the Bulldogs after Elon took the first game on Friday.
The schedule for the weekend was reworked due to anticipated rain. It's the first time ever that Samford has won a series against Elon.
The Bulldogs rocked Elon sophomore Michael Elefante for eight runs (six earned) on eight hits in just 3.2 innings of work, giving him his first loss of the year. The offensive rampage continued for Samford, getting two runs (one earned) off senior Jacob Baker in 1.1 innings and three runs off junior John Antonelli in three innings of work.
Jones had hits in both games to run his career-long hit streak to 18 games.
Samford scored two in the first inning off two RBI singles. The Bulldogs then put four on the board in the third on a grand slam by right fielder Heath Quinn.
Elon scored one each in both the third and fourth innings. Junior Casey Jones hit a sacrifice fly in the third and freshman Tucker Norton doubled in a run in the fourth.
Samford added two more in the fourth on a two-run home run by Quinn, and one run in both the fifth and sixth innings.
The Phoenix made its comeback in the sixth inning, scoring four runs to cut the Bulldogs lead to 9-6. After two walks to start the inning, freshman Nick Zammarelli singled in a run. Norton then hit a three-run home run to center field.
Samford answered with one run in its half of the sixth, but Elon rebelled with two more in the seventh. Jones tripled in a run and Chris Hall singled one in. But the Bulldogs put the finishing touches on the win with three runs in their half of the seventh on a sacrifice fly and a 2-RBI triple.
In the second game, Elon trailed 8-4 entering the ninth but scored four runs to tie things up, only to have two passed balls and a throwing error cost the Phoenix the game in the bottom of the ninth.
Jones doubled to center with two on and one out to get things going in the ninth. Senior Sebastian Gomez then hit a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to two, before junior Chris King belted a two-run home run to center field to tie things up.
After Elon senior pitcher Ryan Pennell got the first two hitters out in the bottom of the inning, a walk came back to haunt the Phoenix. A passed ball allowed the runner to go to second, and another passed ball moved him to third. On the second passed ball, Hall attempted to throw the runner out at third, but instead threw the ball past the third baseman, allowing the run to score.
Samford had taken a 4-1 lead after three thanks to a two run home run by Quinn in the third, his third home run of the day. Elon junior Ryan Cooper hit a solo shot in the third as well.
The Bulldogs tacked on two more in the fifth on a two run home run by Tripp Martin. The Phoenix bats came alive in the seventh, plating three runs. Junior Tyler McVicar hit a pinch-hit two run home run, and junior Quinn Bower scored on a passed ball.
Pennell takes the loss for Elon. Junior Jake Stalzer started on the mound for the Phoenix, lasting 4.2 innings in which he allowed six runs on nine hits. Freshman Dimitri Lettas provided 2.2 innings of relief, allowing two runs on one hit with three walks.
Elon falls to 20-12 overall, 7-5 in the Southern Conference. The Phoenix hosts High Point University at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 9 at Latham Park.