ELON, N.C. -- Elon jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and later put the game out of reach with a six-run eighth on its way to an 11-4 Southern Conference baseball victory over the Western Carolina Catamounts.
Holding a 5-4 lead going into the last of the eighth inning, Elon (28-23, 17-10 SoCon) erupted for six runs on four hits. Joey Tomko got things started with a single up the middle and then went to third when the throw to first on Casey Jones' bunt single was wide.
With one out, Eric Serra put down a suicide squeeze to make it 6-4 and was safe at first on the second Catamount error of the frame. The wild throw allowed Jones to also score and Serra to end up at third. Quinn Bower's double to right-center drove home Serra as the Phoenix grabbed a 8-4 edge. The maroon and gold added runs on yet another error, an Alex Swim sac fly and a Ryan Kinsella single to build the final margin.
For the third straight day Elon scored in the first inning. The Phoenix got one in the first when a Kinsella ground out plated Jake Luce.
The Phoenix added three in the second and a single run in the third when Michael Elefante belted the first homer of his career.
Western Carolina (29-18, 13-11) scored single runs in the fourth and fifth before scoring twice in the eighth to pull within one. The two eighth-inning markers came on a Jacob Hoyle homer.
David Whitehead (4-3) won after allowing four runs on seven hits in 7.2 innings. Nate Young threw the final 1.1 frames to claim his eighth save of the season.
Taking the loss was Jeremy Null. Null gave up five runs (two earned) on four hits in 6.2 innings of work.
Kinsella's ninth-inning hit extended his hitting streak to a career-best 13 games.
Elon gets right back on the diamond on Tuesday as the Phoenix will travel to East Carolina for a 6 p.m. game.
Elon Sports Information Dept.