ELON, N.C. (Mar. 27, 2004) -- The Elon Phoenix and East Tennessee State Buccaneers combined for 21 runs and 36 hits as the Phoenix took game two of the three-game Southern Conference baseball series 11-10 at Latham Park in Elon, N.C. on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Elon moved to 13-14 overall and 8-3 in the SoCon. The Bucs fell to 12-16, 3-8.
After a scoreless first inning, Elon got things going with two runs in the bottom of the second on a Tommy Hill sacrifice fly and a Paul Bennett single. The Phoenix tacked on three more runs in the third inning. Drew Davis hit thee first of his two home runs for the first run of the frame. Chris Price would later single home the second tally and Evan Erickson would drive in the final score of the inning.
The Bucs cut the lead to 5-3 in the fourth with two homers. The first was a solo shot from sophomore left fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.), the second was a two-run blast off the bat of junior designated hitter Ryan Spriggs (Crossville, Tenn.).
Elon pushed the margin to 10-3 with five runs in the fifth, all coming with two outs. Price doubled to start the rally. After a walk to Erickson, Hill singled home both runners. Bennett then promptly singled before Gary Morris launched a three-run bomb to left center.
ETSU responded with five scores of its own in the sixth to trim the margin back to two. After a one-out walk to Spriggs, sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) doubled. Senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) knocked in both runners with a single to center. A single from sophomore center fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) and a walk to sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) loaded the bases for junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.). Moore singled to score Howdeshell. Freshman David Yates (Douglasville, Ga.), who replaced injured sophomore Blake Church, singled down the left field line, driving home Traylor and Byrne.
The Phoenix would score the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth when Davis blasted homer number two on the day, a solo shot to left.
The Bucs trimmed the lead to 11-10 in the eighth with two runs on a Moore homer to left.
The ETSU rally continued into the ninth inning as the Bucs loaded the bases with one out. At that point, Phoenix closer Adam Acosta fanned Yates and then got Douglas to ground a ball to third that the Elon third baseman took to the bag for the force out to end the game.
Davis went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI for Elon. It was his 14th multi-hit game this season and his third four-hit performance. He is now batting .425 on the season. Morris' homer extended his hitting streak to eight games for Elon. ETSU's Moore went 2-for-5 with one run scored and three RBI.
Despite pitching only 5.1 innings and giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits, Elon starter Lance Cole improved his record to 2-2 on the year. Cole also fanned six Buc hitters. Acosta threw the final 1.2 innings, allowing one hit and no runs for his first save of the year.
Sophomore starter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) took the loss (2-4) for ETSU, being touched up for eight earned runs on 11 hits in 4.2 innings of work.
East Tennessee State and Elon play the final game of their three-game SoCon set tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Latham Park in Elon, N.C.