The Elon University baseball team did not score a single run after the first inning of today’s rubber match against Northeastern University. The Phoenix’s six-run, 35-minute first inning led the squad to a 6-3 win.
“It’s good to be on the positive side of one of those innings,” Elon head coach Mike Kennedy said. “We’ve given up two hits and seven or eight runs in an inning before, so it is nice to be on the better side of it.”
The Phoenix (14-16, 6-3 Colonial Athletic Association) only had two hits in the inning. But the big hit came from senior Andy Moore. With a 2-0 lead, Moore’s bases-clearing triple ended up being the winning hit over the Huskies (11-18, 4-5 CAA).
“I was looking for something right over the plate,” Moore said. “He had walked a couple of guys, and on a 2-1 pitch, he put it over the plate.”
After hitting his triple to put the Phoenix up 5-0, he scored when junior catcher Austin Leeney reached base on an error.
Although Elon senior starter Lucas Bakker struggled throughout most of the day, he only allowed two unearned runs. Both runs came in the fourth inning. In his five-inning outing, he allowed five hits, two walks and struck out five batters.
Redshirt freshman Robbie Welhaf made his first appearance in nearly a month during the sixth inning. But Kennedy removed Welhaf from the game with two due to injury concerns.
“He’s probably done, as of now,” Kennedy said. “He had been rehabbing to get back, and he had thrown some good bullpens with no issues. We pulled him because he was hurting today, so we’ll get an MRI and see what’s going on.”
Sophomore Nick Beaulac came in relief for Welhaf and went two and one-third innings. Beaulac allowed a run in the eighth after walking the first two batters. Junior Joe McGillicuddy retired the side in seven pitches to finish off the Huskies.
Senior Ryan Cooper has been an offensive sparkplug for the Phoenix by going 16-for-39 (.410) against CAA opponents. He has reached base safely in each of the nine conference games.
But Cooper is more concerned about the team’s future than his past success.
“We can be happy with this win, but we have to keep moving forward...” Cooper said. “If we don’t, the good teams in this conference will beat us.”
Elon’s next game will be Tuesday as it hosts the North Carolina State Wolfpack at 6:30 p.m.