ELON, NC - Elon scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to break a 1-1 ballgame and The Citadel was unable to score with the bases loaded in the ninth as the Phoenix held on for a 4-2 victory and a sweep of the Bulldogs in Southern Conference action Friday afternoon at Latham Park. The Bulldogs finish the regular season with a 24-31 record, 13-17 in the SoCon and will be No. 7 seed in the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament beginning next Wednesday, May 23, at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.
Knotted at 1-1 after solo home runs by Mason Davis and Elon's Alex Swim in the fourth inning, Elon (31-24, 20-10) plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh to open a 4-1 lead. Swim opened the frame with a single to shallow right and Tyler Griffin's throw to the infield sailed over the head of Bo Thompson at first, allowing Swim to advance to second on the error. A wild pitch by Logan Cribb moved Swim to third and a RBI double down the left-field line by Sebastian Gomez plated Swim with the go-ahead run. One out later, back-to-back RBI doubles by Jake Luce and Sam Paone gave the Phoenix a three-run cushion.
The Bulldogs cut into the lead in the eighth, scoring a single run for a 4-2 score. Grant Richards led off the frame with a double to right center and Calvin Orth singled through the left side to put runners on the corners. Pinch-runner Hayden Hendry advanced to second on a wild pitch and one out later, Nick Orvin's grounder to third scored Richards, cutting the deficit to two.
After Ryan Hines set down Elon in order in the eighth, The Citadel threatened early in the ninth. Justin Mackert led off with a single through the left side and Joe Jackson followed with a base hit to right. A sacrifice bunt by Bo Thompson moved Mackert and Jackson into scoring position and a four-pitch walk to Griffin loaded the bases. Richards battled at the plate to a 2-2 count, but his grounder up the middle deflected off Elon closer Nate Young and started a 1-4-6-3 double play to end the game.
Cribb suffered the loss for the Bulldogs, allowed four runs on five hits in 6.2 innings with four strikeouts and no walks. Hines tossed 1.1 innings of one-hit shutout relief, walking one. Mackert had two hits to lead the offense, while Davis' solo shot was the third of his freshman campaign.
Spencer Medick scattered five hits over 7.1 innings for the win, allowing two runs and striking out five. Young walked one batter, tossing a no-hit inning of relief for his 10th save. Swim had two hits and scored two runs to lead Elon.