Hinson Leads Elon Past Baseball 14-3
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Elon LF Matt Hinson went 3-for-5 with two home run and six RBI, including a grand slam in the fourth inning to lead Elon to 14-3 win over College of Charleston Friday evening at Patriots Point. The Cougars fall to 28-12 overall, 12-7 in the Southern Conference, while Elon improves to 26-14, 12-7. Due to the threat of rain on Sunday, the two teams will play a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The first game will start at 1:00 p.m. and the second contest will begin 30 minutes later.
After three scoreless innings to open the game, Elon blitzed the Cougars with five runs in the fourth. Mike Melillo opened the frame with a single and stole second, while Ryan Adams walked and Scott Riddle singled to load the bases for Hinson, who delivered his 11th home run of the season. Hinson hammered the first pitch over the wall in right for a 4-0 lead and Justin Hilt followed with a solo shot to left off Charleston freshman RHP Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood).
The Phoenix added two more runs in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead on a two-run double down the right-field line by Adams. CofC broke through with a single run in the bottom of the inning, as junior 2B Jesse Mesa (Miramar, Fla./Central Florida JC) ripped a RBI single up the middle to score junior DH Kolby Epley (Yadkinville, S.C./Forbush), who opened the frame with a double to left.
Elon's offense kept coming at the Cougars, scoring four more times in the sixth, once in the seventh and twice in the eighth. Seth Canipe blasted a solo home run to left with one out in the sixth and Harry Austin scored when Melillo reached on a fielding error by Mesa with two outs. The error proved costly as two more runs would come home in the inning, as Pritchard roped a RBI double down the left-field line and Adams lined a RBI single to left. Hinson added a solo home run in the seventh and Pritchard did likewise in the eighth, with Hinson adding a RBI triple.
The Cougars plated two final runs in the bottom of the ninth on a two-run blast to right center by senior PH Justin Brewer (Greer, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College).
Powell and three Charleston relievers combined to strike out 13 Elon batters, with Powell taking the loss to fall to 5-3 on the season. The freshman lasted 4.1 innings, allowing seven runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
Elon starter Jimmy Reyes picked up his sixth win of the season, tossing seven innings and allowing one run on three hits with 10 strikeouts. Pritchard added three hits for the Phoenix, while Adams had three RBI.