The Elon University baseball team couldn’t recover from surrendering seven runs in the top the seventh inning to the Citadel, losing 13-8 Friday night.
After entering the inning tied at five, The Citadel loaded the bases with no outs. Elon pitchers allowed three straight walks to give The Citadel an 8-5 lead.
“We were just non-competitive on the mound,” said head coach Mike Kennedy. “We walked the leadoff guy and that sets the tone for the inning.”
The Citadel broke the game open with four more runs, capped off by Bulldog sophomore outfielder Clay Martin's two-run home run to centerfield.
“Anytime that happens you’re not set up for success,” said junior infielder/outfielder Nick Zammarelli. “It’s hard to get out of a situation like that, because the pitcher’s feeling it on the mound and our defense is feeling it a little bit and next thing you know single homerun.”
Kennedy said he’s seen Elon not being competitive too many times this season, and another poor performance against a struggling Citadel team adds to the tally. The Bulldogs entered hitting just .225 as a team, but managed 10 hits and drew nine walks against Elon pitching.
"When you have a club that's struggling at the plate, you certainly don't want to wake them up by throwing ball four as much as we did tonight," Kennedy said.
The Phoenix wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Zammarelli started the rally with a one-out, opposite-field double down the right field line. Junior outfielder Kyle Jackson then doubled home Zammarelli. Jackson scored in the next at bat as senior infielder Tyler McVicar singled through the right side.
Jackson extends his hitting streak to 10 games with the double and has reached base safely in his last 14 games.
Kennedy said Elon’s bats went quiet as the game progressed, striking out against pitchers reliant on contact and taking hanging breaking pitches.
“I thought we settled about midway through the game, we quit competing a little bit,” he said.
The Citadel moves over .500 with the win, improving its record to 7-6. The loss drops Elon to 6-6. The two teams will continue the weekend series at 2 p.m. Saturday.