June 2, 2013
Hit-Leader Swim Delivers Late
By Phil Stanton
CBI Co-Founder @roadtoomaha
(photos by Joe Browning)
Va. – Wouldn’t you want to have your career hits leader at
the plate with the season on the line?
Alex Swim’s two-run single capped a three-run
eighth as third-seeded Elon rallied past No. 2 UNC Wilmington
6-4 in Game 5 of the Charlottesville Regional at Davenport
The Phoenix (34-29) will face top-seeded Virginia
in the championship game this evening at 6 p.m. Elon will have
to beat the Cavaliers tonight and tomorrow evening to capture
the regional title. The Seahawks end their season at 38-23.
Swim entered the game with 295 hits, including
five in two regional contests. He was 0 for 4 when he came to
the plate with two on and two out in the bottom of the eighth
with the score knotted at 4. A wild pitch put both in scoring
position before Swim lined a single up the middle to give the
Phoenix a 6-4 lead.
“Again I was proud of our guys,” said Elon head
coach Mike Kennedy. “It was another situation where you’re
fighting for your life and we’ve been in that quite a bit here
lately. We showed a lot of resiliency. We hung in there and had
some big hits today with two outs again.”
Elon trailed 4-3 in the middle of the eighth.
Antonio Alvarez had a leadoff single, but a 4-6-3 double play
seemed to make it advantage Seahawks. Danny Lynch drew a walk
and pinch-runner Blaine Bower stole second before a base hit by
Chris Bresnahan created a 4-4 deadlock Quinn Bower’s single
moved Bresnahan to second and both moved up 90 feet, setting the
table for Swim.
The Seahawks used speed to tally their first run.
Leadoff hitter Michael Bass legged out a double to left to start
the game, sliding in just under ahead of the tag. A fly out to
right by Terence Connelly moved Bass to third and he came home
on a sac fly to right by Luke Dunlap as UNCW took an early 1-0
Elon answered in the bottom of the second. Casey
Jones had a leadoff single and moved to third on a double just
inside the third base bag by Alvarez. A groundout by Chris King
brought in Jones and a base hit off the bat Lynch plated Alvarez
as the Phoenix took a 2-1 edge.
UNCW tied it in the third
as Matt Keeler drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second,
advanced to third on a groundout and came home on a base hit to
left by Connelly to knot the score at 2. The Seahawks loaded the
bases with two away, but a flyout to right kept it tied.
gets plunked with the bases full in the top of the fourth as
UNCW takes a 3-2 lead. But the Seahawks leave the sacks loaded
for the second straight frame. UNCW left 10 on base.
“It was a dogfight once again between us and
Elon,” said UNCW head coach Mark Scalf. “We had our
opportunities early. We left the bases loaded there in the third
and left them loaded in the fourth. Any time that happens when
you play a quality opponent you’ve got a feeling it may come
back to bite you. Unfortunately it did.”
Ryan LaGrange and Corey Dick had consecutive
doubles with one away in the top of the fifth as UNCW extended
its lead to 4-2.
Sebastian Gomez doubled and scored in the fifth
as Elon pulled with one.
In its first two regional games, UNCW had seven
scoring innings and put up crooked numbers in six. Today, the
Seahawks tallied single runs in four separate frames.
Dylan Clark gave the Phoenix a solid start, going
five innings with six hits, four runs (three earned), three
walks and no strikeouts. Andrew MacDonald allowed two hits in
two scoreless innings before Ryan Pennell (3-2, H, BB, K) worked
the final two frames to pick up the victory.
“The bullpen was great,” Kennedy said. “Those two
guys out of the pen, MacDonald and Pennell, were outstanding.
This guy to my left (Clark) is as tough as they come. He’s
pitching with a torn labrum and most guys don’t do that. He
wanted the ball and kept us in there. That’s what tough kids who
love your program do. I’m proud of him and proud of the effort
out guys put forth today.”