GREENVILLE, S.C. (soconsports.com) – After an opening-round loss, No. 3 seed Elon completed its improbable run to a Southern Conference title Sunday, topping No. 4 seed The Citadel 6-5 in the title game of the SoCon Baseball Championship at Fluor Field. With the win, the Phoenix earns the SoCon’s automatic bid to the NCAA regionals.
The Phoenix (32-28), which trailed in each of its six games in the tournament, became just the second team in league history to lose its first game and go on to win the tournament, joining the 1991 Furman squad. Elon won a pair of do-or-die games Saturday, handing Georgia Southern a pair of losses to advance to the title bout. The five-game winning streak matches Elon’s longest of the season.
Elon will learn its postseason fate Monday at noon, when the NCAA field will be announced live on ESPNU.
Elon scored six runs in the first three innings and staved off The Citadel’s late rally to clinch its second title and first since 2008.
With the Phoenix clinging to the one-run lead late, The Citadel (35-25) had perhaps its best shot to tie it in the top of the eighth. With two outs, Mason Davis drew a walk and Hughston Armstrong singled to bring up tournament Most Outstanding Player Joe Jackson.
Jackson, who was 10-for-12 with six walks in the tournament to that point, fell behind 1-2 before working the count full, but Elon reliever Spencer Medick caught Jackson looking to snuff the rally.
Medick then struck out the side in the ninth to nail down his first save of the season, making a winner of starter Kyle Webb (7-3), who started Wednesday’s opener and worked 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for his first save of the season Saturday night.
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