The offense kept rolling for the Elon University baseball team as the Phoenix swept a doubleheader with Hofstra University Saturday afternoon at Latham Park, winning 14-8 and 7-2.
“I thought offensively we just carried over what we did at High Point [University] and with [the University of North Carolina at Greensboro],” said Elon head coach Mike Kennedy. “We really got it going and swung the bats well.”
The Phoenix (18-22) didn’t waste any time getting their offense going as it racked up six runs in the first inning of game one, including a grand slam by freshman outfielder Liam O’Regan —his fifth straight game with a home run.
Junior infielder/outfielder Nick Zammarelli had a monster day for the Phoenix, going 4-5 with a home run and 4 RBI and coming up just a triple short of a cycle.
“I’m seeing the ball really well,” said Zammarelli. I’ve just been focusing on when I load, just sit on my back leg and seeing the ball deep because when I’m not on my A-game I tend to be jumpy.”
Elon followed up their stellar first inning with two runs in the second inning and four in the third, cruising to a 12-3 lead after three innings. After three scoreless innings for both teams, Hofstra (13-26) was able to cut into Elon’s lead behind a RBI single from sophomore outfielder Steven Foster and a two-RBI homer from sophomore outfielder Mat Annunziata.
Elon responded with two more runs to end the seventh inning. Hofstra scored two runs in the eighth to give the first game its final score of 14-8.
It took a little longer for the Phoenix offense to get going in the second game of the day. Both teams were scoreless until senior infielder Danny Lynch hit an RBI triple to right center and junior infielder CJ Young hit an RBI single to put Elon up 2-0.
Hofstra responded with sophomore outfielder Teddy Cillis’ solo home run to right center. With Elon leading 3-2 in the seventh, senior infielder Tyler McVicar hit a two-run homer, marking the senior’s 12th straight game with a hit.
“I think everyone’s starting to catch on to knowing what they’re going to get in certain situations,” McVicar said. “I think everyone’s starting to get comfortable and settle in a little bit.”
In the bottom of the eighth, junior outfielder Kyle Jackson hit a two-run home run to snap out of a slump that saw him get a hit in just five of his last 52 at-bats.
“He carried us earlier when a lot of people weren’t doing much,” Kennedy said. “It was good to see him get a big swing on the bat and our kids were just as happy for him, everybody was excited for him.”
As the season heads to its closing stretch, the Phoenix looked to build momentum towards the postseason.
“It’s at the point where the bad start is behind us,” said Zammarelli. “We believe we can take this conference, finish in second, third, whatever and then go into the tournament hot, which is the biggest part right now. We know if we go into the tournament feeling good about ourselves anything can happen.”
The win marks Elon’s seventh straight win in CAA play. The Phoenix will look to keep the streak going and try to sweep Hofstra at noon Sunday.