As much as Appalachian football has domintaed Elon in the last half century, the Elon basbeall team has been equally superior to Appalachian, who has only defeated the Phoenix twelve times in the past 56 years. Elon has played a very tough schedule this season, but has yet to pull off a win against some of the stronger teams on their schedule, while Appalachian has its four wins against Louisiana State and Duke to fall back on. This is a big series for several reasons. First, Appalachian looks to remain perfect in SoCon play, while Elon is sitting at 6-3 in conference. A series win for either team will be big. A sweep for either team would be very big. Secondly, for Appalachian, a series win would provide loads of confidence for a team that has struggled against Elon in the past. Lastly, for Elon, if they were to fall to 7-5 or even 6-6 in conference play, it would be tough for them to win the conference regular season championship. Both teams sport great pitching staffs, but Elon has struggled scoring runs this season and have lost four in a row, two of those to Davidson, who Appalachian swept earlier in March.
ASU Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (4-0, 4.03 ERA) vs. Elon Jr. LHP Dylan Clark (5-1, 1.26 ERA)
A weather delay got in the way of Appalachian Baseball collecting its 18th win for the second time this week. A forty seven minute lightning delay forced Appalachian to the bullpen in the fifth inning and three huge errors allowed Elon to score ten runs, the most Appalachian had given up all season. Will Helms (0-1, 2.70) was charged with his first career loss. Ryan Arrowood (4-0, 4.59) gave up four runs on seven hits in only 4.1 innings of work. Arrowood also walked three batters to only four strikeouts. Only seven of Elon’s ten runs were earned.
Five of the twelve Mountaineer hits came from Daniel Kassouf (.427) who drove in three runs and hit his ninth homerun of the season. Tyler Tewell (.356) and Tyler Zupcic (.318) also collected two hits each. Tewell recorded his third triple of the season while Zupcic collected his eight double.
ASU Sr. RHP Seth Grant (3-1, 3.52 ERA) vs. Elon Jr. LHP Spencer Medick (0-0, 3.18 ERA)
When Seth Grant went to the mound on Saturday afternoon, he had no intentions of handing the ball back to Chris Pollard at any point during the afternoon. Grant pitched a complete game shutout of Elon, his second of his career, scattering five Elon hits. The Phoenix could only manage one runner past second base, on a sixth-inning triple. Grant did not allow Elon to record more than one hit in any inning, and only walked one batter while striking out four batters. Grant moved his record to 4-1 on the season and dropped his ERA by almost a whole point, to 2.72.
The Mountaineer offense woke up after the seventh inning, extending their one run lead after the eighth and ninth innings. Daniel Kassouf hit his SoCon leading 10th homerun in the eighth inning on blast to center field. It was his fifth homerun is as many SoCon games. The ninth inning saw three Mountaineers touch the plate as Tyler Tewll (.364, 3 HR, 21 RBI) drove in two runs on a two-out double. Dowdy tripled the next at bat, driving in Tewell to give the Mountaineers the final score of 5-0. Every Mountaineer starter recorded a hit with Hector Crespo and Tewell recording two hits each.
Kassouf’s RBI launched him into the lead in all three SoCon triple crown categories, with a .424 batting average, his 10th homerun and a four way tie with 30 RBI. Will Callaway stole his SoCon leading 15th base of the season in the sixth inning. Seth Grant also leads the conference in batters striking out looking with 16.
ASU Jr. LHP Rob Marcello (3-0, 1.82 ERA) vs. Elon RHP David Whitehead (0-2, 5.16 ERA)
Elon responded to their shutout loss on Saturday with a 11-2 win over the Mountaineers. Rob Marcello (3-1, 3.09) had a rough day on the mound giving up nine hits in only 5.1 innings. Tyler Moore gave up a grand slam in the sixth inning.
The Mountaineers only recorded seven hits on the day with Daniel Kassouf (.427) and Jeremy Dowdy (.305) collecting two hits each. Hector Crespo stole two bases in the losing effort. In a very interesting side note, four batters were hit by pitches, with each side alternating the bean balls. Elon starter David Whitehead hit Trey Holmes and Will Callaway.
Updated SoCon Standings
Western Carolina 4-2