After earning its first win Friday, the Elon University baseball team won again Saturday, 7-6 over La Salle University in nonconference action.
Junior third baseman Nick Zammarelli’s game-winning, two-run home run broke a 5-5 deadlock in the bottom of the eighth inning.
“I noticed the first ball, [senior relief pitcher Tom Fazzini] kind of threw it out of anger and left it up in the zone," Zammarelli said. "So I knew he was gonna come back with a fast ball. And he just left it in, so I turned on it.”
Zammarelli's homer was his lone hit on the day, but it extends his hitting streak to 13 games — one short of his career-high. The home run completed Elon's comeback, as the Phoenix scored three runs in the seventh and eighth innings to erase La Salle’s 5-1 lead.
In the home half of the seventh, senior catcher Danny Lynch and junior left fielder Will Nance each worked two-out, bases-loaded walks to cut La Salle’s lead to 5-3. Junior center fielder Kyle Jackson then scored on junior pitcher Greg Krug’s wild pitch.
In the eighth, junior designated hitter CJ Young tied the game at 5 with an RBI double down the left field line scoring freshman right fielder Liam O’Regan. Zammarelli then put the Phoenix in front with a two-run home run to give Elon a 7-5 lead.
“It was nice to see us have some really good at bats in the eighth,” said head coach Mike Kennedy. “We took some borderline pitches and we got rewarded for it.”
Kennedy was pleased to see Elon score late in the game, stating that one of Elon’s offensive goals is to win the last three innings.
“Now we’ve proved to ourselves that we can come back,” he said. “If you look at our numbers in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, we haven’t done much damage at all.”
Junior starting pitcer Nick Beaulac lasted 5.1 innings, allowing a pair of earned runs on five hits while striking out eight La Salle hitters.
After falling behind early in each game to Wright State last weekend, Zammarelli said it’s good to see the Phoenix’s starting pitchers rebound.
“Giving up a lot of runs in the first weekend like that can be negative, yesterday and today with [junior pitcher] Matt [Harris] and Beaulac coming out and throwing two good games definitely helps up,” he said.
Elon goes for the three-game series sweep of La Salle at 1 p.m Sunday.