Highlighted by a sixth inning grand slam by junior Chris King, the Elon University baseball team overcame multiple deficits in picking up a 7-5 road win at Samford University April 5.
Trailing 3-0 in the sixth, the Phoenix loaded the bases with nobody out on singles by juniors Ryan Cooper and Casey Jones and a walk by senior Sebastian Gomez. A fielder's choice and a strikeout left it up to King to bring in the runs, and he took full advantage by belting the first pitch he saw over the wall in right field.
Samford retook the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, knocking Elon junior starter Lucas Bakker out of the game. Bakker went 5+ innings in which he only allowed four hits but saw five runs (four earned) score after he walked three and hit three batters.
But Elon pushed ahead for good with three runs in the seventh. Junior Quinn Bower reached on a bunt single, and Cooper followed that up with a single through the right side. Jones then ripped a single down the left field line, scoring Bower. A wild pitch allowed Cooper to score, and Jones came around on a throwing error.
With his two hits, Jones saw his career-long hitting streak extend to 16 games. Freshman Matt Harris picks up the win in his first decision of the year after tossing three scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Senior Ryan Pennell earned his ninth save by throwing a scoreless ninth inning, moving him into sole possession of first place in the Southern Conference in saves.
Due to potential rain in Birmingham, Elon and Samford will wrap up the series with a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. EST on Saturday, April 5.