SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Things looked bleak for the Elon University baseball team at the plate through six innings against Wofford College.
That is, until one pitch in the seventh changed everything.
Junior first baseman Tyler McVicar blasted a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left field for a three-run home run, providing the spark Elon needed for a 12-2 win over the Terriers.
Elon had trailed, 1-0, entering the seventh, and Wofford starter Jesse Morris had the Phoenix in check. The home run came after Gomez singled and junior Chris King reached on an error. Prior to that situation, Elon didn’t have two base runners on at the same time all afternoon.
“It got us going and everyone followed suit after that,” McVicar said. “He had my number with the sliders today and yesterday. We’re starting to get a lot more consistent.”
Sophomore Danny Lynch and junior Andy Moore then each singled to reach base. Junior outfielder Quinn Bower doubled down the first base line to bring one in and put Elon ahead, 4-1.
Elon built on that in the eighth, adding two insurance runs. After junior Casey Jones and Gomez doubled to begin the inning, Wofford made a pitching change. Freshman Tucker Norton drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases, which set up McVicar and freshman Nick Zammarelli for sacrifice flies.
Wofford scored one on a single through the left side by senior Seth Neely in the eighth, but Elon answered with six more in the ninth. A wild pitch scored one and Norton drove in two on a two-out single to right field. Junior Blaine Bower then singled a run in and came around to score on Zammarelli’s first career home run, a two-run shot to right field.
“We feel like it’s some of the stuff we thought we might see, it just kind of took us a while,” Elon coach Mike Kennedy said of the offense. “Hopefully, guys will stay locked in and know if we do that, we’ve got a chance to be pretty good offensively.”
Elon sophomore Michael Elefante (6-1) gets the win after going seven innings in which he allowed two runs on four hits with five strikeouts. Junior John Antonelli threw two scoreless innings to end the game for Elon.
Morris gets saddled with the loss after 6.2 innings in which he allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts.
Wofford scored the game’s first run in the second on a sacrifice fly by James Plaisted. Eric Brenk doubled to get things going, and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Jones extended his hitting streak to 21 games for Elon, while Quinn Bower's is now at 11 games
It marks the 600th career victory for Kennedy, in his 18th year as head coach at Elon. The players planned a Powerade shower for him, but he quickly ran over and knocked over the cooler to prevent that.
“I’ve been very, very fortunate to coach some really good players,” Kennedy said. “I’ve been very, very fortunate to be consistent. If I had to say anything about 600, I’m just really pleased this program has been really consistent in what we’ve done.”
The teams will meet at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the series finale.