Baseball Blows Past Elon 12-3 To Clinch Series
GREENSBORO, N.C. – After Elon scored twice in the top of the first inning Saturday, UNCG roared back and plated 12 of the last 13 runs to down the Phoenix 12-3 and clinch the Southern Conference series at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The victory produced the first Spartan series win over Elon since the 2011 campaign.
The Blue and Gold pounded out 17 hits in the contest, just two short of its season-high mark. Additionally, eight of the nine UNCG batters recorded a hit with six going for multiple base knocks.
Junior Hunter King (Mason City, Iowa/Northern Iowa Area CC) had a monster day offensively, going 4-for-4 while scoring three runs and driving in three as well. Classmate Jordan McDonald (Perth, Australia/Chattanooga State) also notched three hits and a trio of RBI. Rounding out the offensive efforts was senior Sean Guite (Huntington Beach, Calif./Irvine Valley CC) who produced two hits, scored two runs and drove in a pair.
Earning the win on the mound for the Spartans (19-19, 6-8 SoCon) and improving to 5-3 overall was junior Max Povse (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) as he threw a quality start. In six innings, Povse gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits while striking out a career-high 10 batters. He allowed just one run after the first inning of play. Matt Harris suffered his first loss of the campaign for Elon (25-18, 11-9 SoCon), falling to 3-1 after giving up six runs (four earned) on nine hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Junior Brennen James (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) and freshman Adam Swim (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford) threw the final three innings for UNCG and gave up just two hits between them. Swim had four strikeouts in his two innings pitched.
After the Phoenix struck for two runs in the top of the first, the Spartans answered with a three spot in the bottom of the frame. Junior Zac MacAneney (Gibsonville, N.C./Virginia Tech) led off with a single to right field before Guite laced a RBI double down the left field line. King and McDonald added RBI singles in the inning to leave UNCG with a 3-2 advantage after the one complete.
The Spartans moved even further ahead in the bottom of the third, notching four hits in the stanza. UNCG loaded the bases with no outs for redshirt freshman Julian Abreu who delivered with a RBI single up the middle that scored McDonald. After Elon switched pitchers, bringing in Matt Elefante, the new Phoenix thrower was victimized by a pair of passed balls leading to a pair of UNCG runs. The Spartans would lead 6-2 after three innings.
Elon drew within three runs in the top of the fifth thanks to a RBI triple by Ryan Cooper, but Chris King struck out to end the frame.
UNCG would cruise to the end of the contest, scoring six runs on six hits and two Phoenix errors in the seventh and eighth innings to account for the final score.
The Blue and Gold will go for the series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. The team will shave their heads after the contest and take donations throughout the day in support of the Vs. Cancer fund.