Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Elon falls as baseball season closes in CAA Tournament

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Elon’s once-promising baseball season ended during the weekend in the rain-interrupted Colonial Athletic Association Tournament at Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

The Phoenix finished the season with a 33-22 record.

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The last game turned out to come Sunday afternoon when Elon lost 14-8 to Northeastern. Later, UNC Wilmington defeated Northeastern to win the title – and both those teams ended up in the NCAA Tournament bracket, which was unveiled Monday. It marks the first time since 2018 that two CAA teams are in the tournament.

Elon wasn’t selected after sitting in good position at midseason and listed in projected NCAA Tournament fields. A one-month stretch late in the season with a 7-10 record dinged Elon’s chances.

That negated some of the good work earlier in the season. Against teams in the top 25 of the Ratings Percentage Index, the Phoenix compiled a 4-4 record (1-1 vs. Wake Forest, 1-2 vs. Kentucky, 1-1 vs. Campbell, 1-0 vs. North Carolina State). Elon was 3-2 combined against Northeastern and UNCW in the regular season.

As the No. 2 seed in the CAA Tournament, Elon had a first-day bye and then lost to third-seeded Northeastern by 2-1 last Thursday. Behind four hits from Parker Haskin, the Phoenix eliminated tournament host and No. 4 seed College of Charleston 10-5 on Friday.

After being idle Saturday as inclement weather caused a revamped schedule, the Phoenix was eliminated Sunday despite Luke Stephenson, Ryan Sprock and Haskin homering in Elon’s five-run ninth inning.

Haskin batted .500 with three home runs in the tournament and was selected for the all-tournament team.

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