Baseball Drops SoCon Opener to Elon
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG baseball team jumped out to a 4-1 lead early against Elon Friday, but the Phoenix exploded for 13 runs in the final four innings to capture a 14-8 victory in the Spartans' Southern Conference opener at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
The Blue and Gold falls to 8-8 overall with the loss while the Phoenix are now 9-8 on the season.
Sophomore Max Povse (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) threw 5.1 innings and struck out a career-high eight batters. He allowed four runs on six hits while also walking two. Junior Dylan Hathcock (2-2) (Tampa, Fla./Gaither) was tagged with the loss as he gave up four runs on four hits in the sixth inning.
A total of six Spartans racked up two hits and at least one RBI while sophomore infielder Ray Crawford (Greensboro, N.C./Dudley) scored three runs.
Quinn Bower was hit by a pitch in the game's first at bat, but he was subsequently picked off by Povse as Elon came up empty in the top of the first. UNCG scored its first run in the bottom of the frame when Crawford scored on an infield single by junior catcher Cambric Moye (Goldsboro, N.C./Eastern Wayne).
The Spartans tacked on three runs in the bottom of the second to race in front 4-1. Redshirt freshman infielder Nin Marrero doubled to left center with one out, moving sophomore outfielder Eric Kalbfleisch (Pilot Mountain, N.C./North Stokes) to third base. Junior outfielder Cole Harrison (Key West, Fla./Key West) proceeded to fly out to left which plated Kalbfleisch for UNCG's second run. Crawford and senior outfielder Zach Leach followed with a pair of doubles to account for the other two tallies.
The game settled down until the sixth, when Elon exploded for seven runs in the top half of the frame on six hits. Antonio Alvarez capped the outburst with a two-out, two-run home run deep to left center.
The Phoenix seemed to put the game out of reach in the seventh as pinch hitter Joey Tomko delivered a one-out double right on the left field line which scored two. A RBI groundout by Blaine Bower made the score 11-4 before the inning came to an end.
UNCG mounted one last rally in the seventh, scoring four runs on four hits and taking advantage of two Phoenix errors to cut its deficit to 11-8. Crawford began the inning by reaching on an error at short and advanced to second on a passed ball with one out. Senior infielder Lloyd Enzor (Whiteville, N.C./Southeastern CC) laced an RBI single to right field before Moye followed with an infield single. Kalbfleisch and senior infielder TJ Spina (Newberry, Fla./Santa Fe) added RBI base knocks and Enzor crossed home on the other error to give the Spartans life.
Wil Leathers delivered the knockout blow in the eighth with two outs as he clubbed a 1-1 pitch to left field which cleared the wall and scored three runs. UNCG put its first two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth, but two flyouts and a strikeout allowed the Phoenix to seal the win.
UNCG and Elon continue their series tomorrow at 2 p.m. inside the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
- UNCG -