Building upon a weekend in which the team scored 23 runs in three games while bouncing back from two gut-wrenching defeats, the Elon University baseball team sped past High Point University 12-2 April 10 at Latham Park.
Elon had lost twice early in the season to High Point. The win comes on the heels of 13-8 and 9-8 losses to Samford University in a doubleheader last weekend.
“I told the guys before the game, ‘They got us twice, now we have to take one after a tough weekend,’” senior second baseman Sebastian Gomez said. “We had to bounce back and get right back on track so we go into this weekend feeling confident.”
Four players had two or more hits for Elon. Gomez was 3-for-4 with four runs batted in, and junior Tyler McVicar also drove in four runs.
“For the first time all year, we competed offensively up and down the lineup,” Elon coach Mike Kennedy said. “Several guys at the bottom have stepped up. We’ve gotten better just by those guys getting better. We’re making some strides offensively.”
Tied 2-2 in the third, Elon pulled ahead with four runs off two home runs. After Gomez singled in a run, McVicar hit a towering home run over the scoreboard in center field. Junior outfielder Blaine Bower followed that up with a solo shot over the wall in left.
The Phoenix added to that with three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. With the bases loaded in the fourth, junior third baseman Casey Jones brought in a run on a sacrifice fly. McVicar continued his career day with his first triple of his Elon career, plating two more runs.
“He’s really starting to hit with some power,” Kennedy said of McVicar. “We just had to get him to be aggressive. He’s really coming along.”
In the sixth, Elon scored on a wild pitch and a 2-RBI double by Gomez.
Freshman Mike Krill earns the win, his first career decision, after tossing four shutout innings and allowing just two hits. In the ninth, junior reliever Grant Fisher hit three consecutive batters to load the bases before being pulled. Freshman Matt Harris came on to finish the game, but the Panthers plated three runs (accredited to Fisher) before the end of the game.
“It’s interesting, some guys that were pretty good for us early are starting to struggle,” Kennedy said, “and that’s a concern. But there’s some guys stepping up and starting to throw a little bit better. Hopefully, that’ll balance itself out.”
Sophomore Tyler Manez had started on the hill for Elon, but lasted just two innings. He allowed two runs on three hits before being relieved by Krill. High Point threw Will Resnik, who entered the game with a 10.38 earned run average, and only saw that get worse. He went four innings and allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits with five strikeouts.
Jones doubled in the first inning to extend his career-long hitting streak to 19 games.
After the game, both Elon and High Point teams and coaches shaved their heads as part of the teams' contributions to the Vs. Cancer Foundation. They raised more than $15,000 through donations. Elon pitcher Joe McGillicuddy was diagnosed with cancer in the fall after a random drug test. His twin brother pitches for High Point.
With the win, Elon moves to 21-12 on the season. The Phoenix head to Wofford College this weekend for a three-game Southern Conference series.