ELON, N.C. -- Neal Prtichard drove in four runs and Dylan Clark tossed seven innings of shutout ball to lead Elon to a 14-0 blanking of Furman in the regular season finale for both teams Friday afternoon at Latham Park.
The victory secured the outright 2011 Southern Conference regular season championship for Elon (36-19, 23-7 SoCon) and also gave the Phoenix the series win over Furman (23-31, 13-16 SoCon) two games to one.
The Paladins will open Southern Conference play next Wednesday, May 25, as the No. 7 seed against No. 2 seed UNC Greensboro at Charleston's Joseph P. RIley Park. First pitch is scheduled for 9:00 a.m.
Elon took control of the game early, erupting for seven runs in the third against Paladin starting pitcher Tyler Wood. The Phoenix sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, which featured a two-run home run by Pritchard, a solo blast by Ryan Kinsella, and a two-run single by Ben Scott, who had two base hits in the frame.
The Phoenix tacked on four more runs in the fourth to extend their advantage to 11-0.
Clark (3-3), meanwhile, scattered nine Furman hits and rode the strong run support to the easy win. He walked one and fanned two.
Wood (3-4), who lasted just 2 2/3 innings and was charged with the loss, was roughed up for seven runs on eight hits
Elon, which posted 12 hits in the contest, was paced at the plate by Pritchard, and by Scott, who went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs. Kinsella contributed two hits and three RBI in three official at bats, and Niko Fraser also had a pair of hits while Sebastian Gomez scored three runs.
Furman pitching contributed to the Paladins' long afternoon by hitting five batters and issuing six walks, three of which forced in runs in tthe seventh inning.
J.B. Jenkins went 3-for-4 to lead Furman.