March 13, 2010
GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Matt Hinson and Niko Fraser belted late inning home runs to help Elon sweep Furman in Southern Conference baseball doubleheader action Saturday afternoon at Latham Stadium. The Phoenix captured the first game, 5-3, and finished with the twinbill sweep with a 9-6 decision in game two.
With the victories Elon improves to 9-4 overall and 2-0 in SoCon play. Furman falls to 5-9 overall and 0-2 in league play.
In the first game Hinson's two-run home run in the seventh inning off Paladin starter Ian Parry (1-1) broke a 1-1 tie and helped the Phoenix build a 5-1 lead and hold off a ninth inning Furman rally.
In the second game Fraser's three-run, eighth-inning clout off Paladin reliever Nate Smith gave Elon a 9-3 lead, and the Phoenix put down another Furman ninth inning uprising to secure the sweep.
The opener featured two strong starting pitching performances by Elon's Jimmy Reyes (2-2) and Furman's Parry, whose solid, efficient work led to a game the required only two hours and four minutes to complete.
It remained 1-0 until the fifth when Ryan Adams led off the inning with a solo home run to left center field that tied the game.
In the decisive seventh Parry retired the first two batters he faced before yielding a double to Seth Canipe. Hinson followed a with two-run blast to left center to give the Phoenix a 3-1 lead.
Elon added a pair of runs in the ninth against Paladin reliever Daniel Stallsmith, with an RBI double by Canipe and pinch-hit RBI grounder by Grant McCoury.
Rob Fondu led off the Furman ninth with a solo home run, chasing Reyes, and the Paladins added another run to make it a 5-3 game before Phoenix reliever Thomas Girdwood induced a pair of groundouts to end the contest and earn his first save of the year.
In picking up the win, Reyes allowed eight hits and a pair of runs over eight innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Parry was the tough luck loser, working a career best eight frames and yielding five hits and three runs. He also didn't walk a batter and fanned eight.
Alex Swim, Adams, and Canipe each collected a pair of hits to lead Elon. Furman, meanwhile, got two hits each from Fondu, Muzika, and Aaron Thompkins.
As it did in game one, Furman struck first in game two on Aaron Thompkins' two-out, RBI single that gave the Paladins a 1-0 lead.
Elon answered in the third, taking advantage of a hit batsman, a balk, and two hits to score two runs on Neal Pritchard's two-run single off Paladin starting pitcher Brian Dudzinski (0-3).
Ahead 3-2 after four innings, the Phoenix stretched their advantage to 5-2 with a two-run fifth that included an Adams RBI single and Canipe sacrifice fly.
It remained 5-2 until the seventh when Paladin freshman Paul Nitto cracked a solo home run to left field.
The Phoenix, however, quickly responded with a four-run eighth off Paladin reliever Nate Smith. The big blow came on Fraser's three-run round tripper to left field that stretched Elon's margin to 9-3.
In the Furman ninth, Fondu belted his second home run of the day, a one-out three-run job to left field of Phoenix reliever John Brebbia. Elon then called on Kyle Webb to secure the win, which he did by striking out Muzika for the second out and Miller for the final out with one one aboard.
The win in game two went to Phoenix starter Jared Kernodle (2-0), who worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs. He struck out four and did not issued a pass.
Adams, Canipe, and Justin Hilt had two hits apiece to lead Elon's 12-hit attack. Aaaron Thompkins led Furman with a 3-for-4 performance, with Wade and Miller notching a pair of hits in the contest.
Sunday's series finale is a 1:00 p.m. start.