No matter how many pitchers head coach Mike Kennedy sent out late in the game, the Elon University baseball team could not stop the damage.
Kennedy used five pitchers in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth, but the Phoenix allowed three runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth in a 6-2 loss Saturday afternoon at Latham Park.
“We haven’t been good enough to throw guys for a full inning,” Kennedy said. “Our thoughts are that maybe we can get some guys in matchup situations where they can have success one or two batters at a time.”
In the second game of the series between Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) teams, the Cougars scored runs on three singles in the seventh and a two-run single by junior designated hitter Jake Maziar, who had three RBI on the day.
Senior pitcher Michael Elefante threw five innings for Elon, giving up one unearned run on three hits and four strikeouts. But he walked six batters, and Elon’s nine relievers continued the trend to the tune of 13 walks on the day, a season-high.
“We had several of them, but it didn’t really hurt us or get away from us until late,” Kennedy said. “It’s hard to win when you have that many walks and you’re behind in the count a lot.”
Elefante added, “It’s tough when it’s windy and dry like that because the ball feels slick in your hand. I kept breathing into my hand and I saw other guys doing it too.”
Senior infielder Tyler McVicar put Elon on the board in the first, lacing a two-out double to right to score junior outfielder Kyle Jackson. In the fourth, the College of Charleston responded with a run on a 2-out error by Elon junior infielder/outfielder Nick Zammarelli.
Elon took the lead back in the sixth, when senior catcher Austin Leeney scored on a wild pitch.
The teams combined for 30 runners left on base, with Elon leaving 14 runners on despite only getting six hits.
“We had some chances with the bases loaded and the right guys up,” Kennedy said. “We just didn’t get [a big hit] tonight.”
The loss drops Elon to 10-16 on the season and 2-5 in the CAA. College of Charleston improves to 19-8 and 4-1 in the CAA. The rubber match of the weekend series is at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.