May 28, 2010

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CBI Live: SoCon Game 9: #7 ASU 10, #2 CofC 8

CBI Live
Big hits in ninth carry Elon past Samford

By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


CHARLESTON, S.C. – It was more drama for a great tournament.


Mike Melillo had a RBI double to snap a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth and Ben Scott added a three-run homer as fourth-seeded Elon edged fifth-seeded Samford 7-4 in an elimination game Friday on Day 3 of the Southern Conference Tournament at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.


The Phoenix will face top-seeded The Citadel at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Elon must post two wins over the Bulldogs to advance to Sunday’s championship game.


With one out in the top of the ninth, Niko Fraser drew a walk. Melillo followed with a double down the left field line to score Fraser with the go-ahead run. Ryan Adams drew a base on balls, his school-record 55th. With two outs, Scott launched just his second homer to give Elon a 7-3 lead.


“Elon is a good group, and they’ve been winning for a long time over there,” said Samford head coach Casey Dunn, “and they’ve been able to find a way to get us in the end more than we have. Their best hitter got a hit off our best guy. It was a good match-up of two good college baseball teams. I’m proud to death of the way our kids competed.  They were just able to get the big one at the end.”


Brad Moss had a leadoff double and scored in the bottom of the ninth for the Phoenix.


Adams had a leadoff homer in the top of the second to start the scoring for Elon, his 11th.


Samford answered in the third as Wayne Miller had a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mason Meredeth. It was the 58th RBI for Meredeth, a school record.


The Phoenix reclaimed the lead in the fourth. Fraser drew a leadoff walk, moved to second on a one-out walk to Adams, went to third when Scott was hit by a pitch with two outs and scored on a wild pitch.


Elon added an insurance run in the seventh as Seth Canipe had a leadoff single and scored on an error to make it 3-1.


The Bulldogs rallied for a pair in the bottom of the frame. Tripp Swan drew a leadoff walk. Stephen Ballard sent a grounder through the legs of the first baseman for an error, sending Swan to third. Moss had a single to left to plate Swan, ending the night for Elon starter Daniel Britt. Jim Stokes came on and surrendered a base hit to Miller on a 0-2 pitch to bring in Ballard with the tying run.


Scott and Alex Swim both had two hits for the Phoenix.


Miller finished with three hits and two RBI for the Bulldogs.


Stokes earned the win, allowing three hits and one run in 2.2 innings with two strikeouts. Kyle Webb needed one pitch to get the final out, a grounder to third with two on, to record his fourth save.


Starter Daniel Britt worked six innings for Elon with four hits, three runs (two earned), two walks and four strikeouts.


“We’re not real offensive right now,” said Elon head coach Mike Kennedy, “and it’s the wrong time not to be able to score runs, but our starting pitching has been phenomenal.  All three guys got us into the seventh inning and you’ve got to tip your hat to those guys, but at some point we’ve got to step up and give us a little bit of room.”


Samford starter Kyle Putkonen pitched 7.2 innings with six hits, three runs (two earned) and five walks. Putkonen threw 145 pitches and matched his career high with eight strikeouts.


(photos courtesy of Southern Conference Media Relations Office)