By Craig Filazzola, WSOE Sports Director
Elon scored three runs in the eighth inning and carried a 13-12 lead to the top of the ninth. Southern Miss then knocked in five runs en route to a 17-15 victory.
In the second inning, the Southern Miss Golden Eagles scored eight runs to lead 8-0. The Phoenix chipped away and tied the game 9-9 in the sixth. Southern Miss answered with three runs in the top of the seventh.
The ninth inning was eventful just like any other inning. In the top of the ninth, Adam Doleac had a pitch-hit, game-tying RBI double for the Golden Eagles, making it 13-13. Then Joey Archer scored on a passed ball, and Southern Miss went ahead 14-13. Later in the same at-bat, pitch hitter Kyle Maxie hit a two-run homerun.
Elon had a chance to win in the bottom of the ninth. Neal Pritchard launched a two-run homerun, cutting the deficit to 17-15. With one out, a runner on second and the tying-run at the plate, the next two Phoenix batters struck out. Southern Miss would then take the first game in the Atlanta Regional of the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.
Every Elon batter had at least one hit. Bennett Davis went 4-for-4 with three homeruns and four RBIs. Davis became only the fourth player in NCAA history to hit three homers in a regional game. Chase Austin also contributed for the Phoenix, homering once and driving in five runs.
Only three Southern Miss hitters failed to record a hit. Both teams combined for 32 runs, 34 hits and 11 homeruns. Reliever Collin Cargill picked up the win for the Golden Eagles, and Phoenix closer Thomas Girdwood was saddled with a blown save and the loss.
Second-seeded Elon will play the fourth-seeded Georgia State Panthers at 3 p.m. Saturday. The Panthers lost to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 9-3 Friday night. Third-seeded Southern Miss will take on top seeded Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
All Elon NCAA Tournament games can be heard live on WPCM 920 AM and elonphoenix.com.
WSOE Sports Director