Amidst inclement weather and an 18-inning second game, the Bulldogs fell in all three matchups against conference foe Elon this weekend.
The series, hosted by Samford, had a game postponed and one suspended due to storms, before finally wrapping up as Elon took games two and three from the Bulldogs on Sunday.
“I don’t think the weather played a big role in the weekend,” senior infielder Saxon Butler said. “It caused us to get off our normal schedule and that’s about it. No matter what happens we have to stay focused and do our jobs whenever we are called upon to do so.”
The Phoenix won game one on Saturday, instead of its originally scheduled time on Friday. Pitcher Dylan Clark earned the 7-4 win for Elon, with key offensive production from Alex Swim and Garrett Koster.
The lead was immediate for Elon, who scored three runs in the first inning. The Phoenix added another in the third, making the score 4-0.
The Bulldogs fought back, as a three-run homer hit by senior catcher Brad Moss helped in giving the game a 4-4 tie after four innings.
In the very next inning, Elon put up three more runs, bringing the score to 7-4. Defense secured the score as final for the Phoenix.
The Bulldogs came out swinging to begin the second game of the Saturday doubleheader, as Butler plated junior infielder Zeth Stone in the first inning with a RBI single.
Elon eventually tied the score in the top of the sixth and had a runner in scoring position in the seventh inning when lightning forced the game to be suspended.
When the game resumed on Sunday, each team scored a seventh-inning run, keeping the game tied. The 2-2 score stood for the next ten innings until Elon’s Sebastian Gomez scored a run off a balk in the 17th inning.
The Bulldogs responded in the bottom half of the inning with a Phillip Ervin solo home run. This eventually forced an 18th inning.
In the top of the 18th, Elon scored two runs. The Bulldogs were unable to respond in the bottom half and the final score was 5-3.
The 18 innings were the most Samford has played in a single game in the program’s history, and two innings short of the SoCon record of 20.
“The 18 inning game was draining but we fought hard for all 18,” Ervin, a sophomore pitcher said. “We didn’t let up the entire game.”
Elon opened up the final game of the series with a 7-3 lead. A late rally by the Bulldogs was keyed by a two-run double hit by senior outfielder Brandon Miller in the bottom of the ninth.
However, Samford was unable to convert anything else and dropped the game by a 7-5 final score.
With the series, Elon improved to 18-11 overall and 11-4 in SoCon play. The Bulldogs dropped to 17-11, with a 7-5 conference mark.
“One weekend is just that, one weekend,” Ervin said. “It will not define our season. The only thing that will come of this is that we will be even more motivated going into the next series and the rest of the season.”
The Bulldogs will play next in a home series against the Citadel Bulldogs this weekend.