Elon wins SoCon regular season title with 11-6 win over UNCG Saturday
GREENSBORO, NC – Elon pitcher Jesse Lewter hurled four innings of scoreless relief en route to his fourth win of the season and the Phoenix pounded out 11 runs en route to the outright regular season Southern Conference championship with an 11-6 win over UNC Greensboro Saturday evening at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Lewter (4-1) entered the game in the bottom of the fourth with the Phoenix trailing 5-3, but Elon scored seven runs over the next two innings to make a winner out of the lefty. Lewter finished the game allowing no runs on five hits while collecting two strikeouts.
Freshman Clinton McKinney (1-5) suffered the loss after surrendering five runs (three earned) on six hits in 1-2/3 innings on the hill.
Elon (42-14, 21-6 SoCon) jumped out to an early 3-0 edge after Chris Vasami hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first. UNCG starter Clay Gibson hit both Donny Jobe and Adam Weaver to start the game before Vasami laced a line drove over the rightfield wall.
UNCG (24-31, 13-14 SoCon) exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3 advantage. Greg Feltes was hit by a pitch to start the frame and Sean Snell reached on an error on Ryan Addison in right to put runners on first and second. Jermaine Mitchell then pushed a single through the right side to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Guy Welsh then doubled home Snell and Harvey then plated Mitchell with a sacrifice fly to left. Wes McCall added an RBI double to rightfield and later scored on an error on the Phoenix infield.
Mitchell picked up his 37th RBI of the season an inning later when he singled to leftfield to score Feltes to put UNCG out in front 6-3 after four.
The Phoenix answered with a six-run fifth to take the lead for good. With the score 6-4 in favor of the Spartans, shortstop Paul Bennett gave Elon the lead when he cleared the bases with a two-out three-RBI triple to rightfield. The Phoenix would tack on another run on an error on the UNCG infield and Weaver produced the final run of the frame with a single into leftfield.
Elon would tack on runs in the sixth and seventh and limit the Spartans to just three hits over the final four innings en route to its first regular season baseball title in the Division I era.
Mitchell led the way at the plate for the Spartans as the Daingerfield, TX product went 3-for-5 with two RBI to finish the regular season with a league-leading even .400 batting average. Wes McCall also produced a multi-hit game for UNCG as he went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Prior to the game, UNCG honored its three seniors who took part in their final regular season game at UNCG Baseball Stadium. Senior shortstop David Adams played in his 188th career game as a Spartan, leaving the Statesville, NC native tied for 10th place on the all-time list. Pitcher Jonathan Nichols pitched an inning of relief for UNCG and Patrick Currin notched his league-leading 37th appearance during the contest.
UNCG returns to the diamond Tuesday afternoon when the Spartans begin their quest for the 2006 Southern Conference Tournament Championship. The Spartans enter the tournament as the No. 7 seed and will take on tenth-seeded Wofford in a single elimination game at 12 noon from Riley Park in Charleston, SC. Should UNCG get past the Terriers, the Spartans would then have to lose twice to be eliminated from the post-season event.
Elon 11, UNC Greensboro 6 (May 20, 2006 at Greensboro, NC)
Elon................ 300 061 100 - 11 11 3 (42-14, 21-6)
UNC Greensboro...... 005 100 000 - 6 11 2 (24-31, 13-14)
Pitchers: Elon - Cole; Regan(3); Lewter(4); Tilley(8). UNC Greensboro - Clay Gibson;
Jonathan Nichols(4); Clinton McKinney(5); Greg Martin(6); Wes McCall(8); Patrick Currin(9).
Win-Lewter(4-1) Loss-Clinton McKinney(1-5) T-3:12 A-417
HR ELON - Weaver; Vasami.
Nichols faced 2 batters in the 5th.
- UNCG -