GREENSBORO, NC – Elon starting pitcher Steven Hensley hurled eight strong innings en route to his sixth win of the season as UNC Greensboro dropped a 7-4 decision Thursday evening at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Hensley (6-3) allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out nine in the eight innings. The right-hander allowed two runs over the first two innings before limiting the Spartans to just two more hits over the next six innings.
Chad Tilley came on in the ninth and worked himself into a jam, but recovered nicely to earn his 10th save of the season. UNCG loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth on a pair of hits and a walk, but Tilley induced pinch hitter Mike Mongiello into a game-ending double play to secure the win for the Phoenix.
Spartan starter Nick Starnes (4-4) took the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits while recording five punchouts in five innings of mound duty.
UNCG (23-30, 12-13 SoCon) put a run on the board in the bottom of the first to take an early 1-0 advantage. Greg Feltes led off the inning with a sharp double into left-centerfield and moved to third when Sean Snell followed with a sacrifice bunt. Jermaine Mitchell then recorded his 34th RBI of the season with a groundout to the right side.
The Spartans tallied a second run in the home half of the second inning as UNCG put together a pair of two-out doubles. Catcher Adam Deleo started the rally with a two-bagger into right-centerfield before designated hitter Sam Martin battled back from an 0-2 count and laced a double of his own down the leftfield line for his second RBI of the season.
Elon (41-13, 20-5) stormed back for four runs in the top of the third as the Phoenix started the inning with four consecutive hits en route to a two-run lead at 4-2. Leadoff hitter Donny Jobe opened the frame with a triple to right-centerfield and Adam Weaver hit the first pitch he saw through the left side for Elon’s first run. Designated hitter Robert Rodebaugh produced Elon’s third straight hit with a single to right before Chris Price cleared the bases with a two-run double off the right-centerfield wall. Chris Vasami produced the final run of the end with an RBI groundout.
The Phoenix extended its lead to 7-2 as Elon scored three runs with two outs in the top of the sixth. Weaver laced an RBI double to right-centerfield for the first run while catcher Grant Rembert added a two-run bloop single into shallow right. UNCG answered with two runs in the bottom half to cut the Elon lead to 7-4. Jermaine Mitchell started things with a two-out walk before Guy Welsh drove him home with a double into right-centerfield. Welsh then came around to score on a fielding error by Paul Bennett with Brandon Harvey batting.
Martin finished the game as the lone Spartan with a multi-hit performance as the Roxboro, NC native was 2-for-4 at the dish. Mitchell finished the night 1-for-3 with an RBI to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
UNCG and Elon continue a three-game series with game two scheduled to begin Friday evening at 6 p.m. from UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Elon 7, UNC Greensboro 4 (May 18, 2006 at Greensboro, NC)
Elon................ 004 003 000 - 7 10 2 (41-13, 20-5)
UNC Greensboro...... 110 002 000 - 4 7 0 (23-30, 12-13)
Pitchers: Elon - Steven Hensley; Chad Tilley(9). UNC Greensboro - Nick Starnes;
Clinton McKinney(6); Jonathan Nichols(8).
Win-Steven Hensley(6-3) Save-Chad Tilley(10) Loss-Nick Starnes(4-4) T-2:39 A-290
Starnes faced 1 batter in the 6th.
- UNCG -