May 31, 2013


Elon Outscores UNCW in Charlottesville Regional

By Phil Stanton

CBI Co-Founder @roadtoomaha

(photos by Joe Browning, UNCW)


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – In a game with multiple big hits, the nine-hole hitter for Elon might have had the biggest.


Chris Bresnahan had a key two-run single in the top of the eighth to give the third-seeded Phoenix a 10-7 victory over No. 2 UNC Wilmington in the first round of the Charlottesville Regional at Davenport Field.


Elon (33-28) will face top-seeded Virginia on Saturday at 6 p.m. The Seahawks (37-22) will meet No. 4 Army in an elimination game at 1 p.m.


The Phoenix led 8-7 after seven innings before Antonio Alvarez drew a leadoff walk in the eighth and moved to second on a base hit by Will Leathers. A sacrifice bunt by Danny Lynch put both runners in scoring position. Bresnahan delivered a single to center to drive in a pair of insurance runs.


“We didn’t play clean enough on the back end,” said UNCW head coach Mark Scalf. “Bresnahan had a huge hit, a 3-2 pitch, the infield’s in and he squares up a pitch up the middle. They finished the plays at the tail end to close it out on us.”


UNCW brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but Andrew MacDonald (5-1, 3.1 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K) coaxed Drew Farber into a fielder’s choice to end the contest.


“I thought it was two teams that really mirrored each other,” said Elon head coach Mike Kennedy. “They had some two-out hits early in the game to get the lead on us and we got some two-out hits late to take the lead on them. I thought our kids hung in there and kept competing and playing hard.”


The Phoenix trailed 5-2 before two huge two-out hits in the sixth gave them the lead. With two on and two away, Alex Swim drew a walk to load the bases. Alvarez ripped a double into the left field corner to clear the bases and knot the score at 5. Kennedy called on Will Leathers to pinch-hit and he crushed a first-pitch fastball over the fence in left to give the Phoenix a 7-5 advantage.


After two-out RBI singles by Luke Dunlap and Tyler Molinaro tied it in the bottom of the sixth for the Seahawks, Bresnahan had a leadoff base hit and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh as Elon took the lead for good.


Alvarez finished with two hits, three runs and four RBI for the victors.


The teams had met twice during the regular season, with UNCW winning both encounters.


Swim crushed a triple to left center to lead off the top of the second for the Phoenix and came home on a double to right by Alvarez. Tyler McVicar sacrificed Alvarez to third. Lynch hit a bouncer to third on which the third baseman looked to Alvarez before throwing to first. Alvarez broke for the plate and beat the throw from first to give Elon a 2-0 advantage.


The Seahawks answered in the bottom of the second. Ryan LaGrange had a leadoff single to left and moved to second on a base hit by Corey Dick (3 for 5). Matt Keeler moved both runners up on a sacrifice bunt. Following a strikeout, Andy Austin (2 for 3) delivered a double to right center to plate both runners and knot the score at 2. Following a walk to Michael Bass, Terence Connelly (3 for 3, 2 R, 2 RBI) served a single to left to bring home Austin and give UNCW a 3-2 lead.


UNCW added to its advantage in the bottom of the fifth. Connelly was plunked with one away and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Dunlap. Connelly scored on an error and Dunlap came in on a ground-rule double by Dick to give the Seahawks a 5-2 cushion.