The Elon University baseball team scored eight runs against East Carolina University on Saturday in the second game of a three-game series against the Pirates at Latham Park.
It wasn’t enough.
The Phoenix gave up eleven runs to the Pirates, losing 11-8, to drop to 8-8 and .500 on the season.
Elon took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning after trailing for the entire game, but lost it in the top of the ninth by giving up four runs. Closer Joe McGillicuddy took the loss after falling victim to giving up the ninth inning runs.
“We just have to play better,” said head coach Mike Kennedy. “I though we competed, I thought we fought and did some good things to stay in the game but we’re not going to win unless we play better.”
East Carolina opened up the game with three runs after the Phoenix committed three defensive errors as the Pirates batted though the order. In the second inning, Luke Lowery hit his second home run of the series, sending a two-run shot to left field to make a 5-0 game.
Elon responded in the bottom of the second with a 2 RBI single by sophomore utility player Nick Zamarelli to score junior utility player Joey Tomko and senior infielder Chris King from second and third base. Ryan Cooper would also score a run for the Phoenix in what would become a solid day for the senior outfielder.
Nick Zamarelli would earn another RBI in the bottom of the seventh inning after hitting a single to center field to score Ryan Cooper. Freshman pinch hitter James Venuto would score Zammarelli from second base after hitting a triple, making it a 7-5 game heading into the eighth.
“We know we’re going to hit,” Zammarelli said after the eight run offensive performance. “This is definitely a tough one to swallow but we don’t have a lot of time to think about it too long because we come right back at it tomorrow.”
Cooper would later hit a three run homer in the in the bottom of the eighth inning to give Elon its first and only lead of the series, hitting a shot over the left field wall to make it an 8-7 ball game.
“I try to be prepared coming to the plate, coming to the ball park ready,” Cooper said. “We had a good scouting report and we knew they were going to throw a lefty and [our offense] played well today.”
Elon will host East Carolina for the final game of the series tomorrow afternoon at Latham Park. First pitch is scheduled to be at 1:30 p.m.