ELON, N.C. — In game one of a key Southern Conference baseball series, the Elon Phoenix received a stellar outing from starting pitcher Kyle Webb and a game-winning home run from Sebastian Gomez to defeat the visiting Georgia Southern Eagles, 4-3, on Friday afternoon at Latham Park.
Webb helped the Phoenix improve to 8-5 overall and 3-1 in the SoCon by tossing 8.1 innings. In that span, Webb (2-2) struck out six and did not allow a walk. All three runs were charged to the Elon starter. Nate Young struck out the final two hitters to earn his second save of the year.
"We just need him (Webb) to keep the ball down like he did," Elon coach Mike Kennedy said. "When he does that, he gets so many weak outs."
With the game knotted at two in the bottom of the seventh inning, Gomez faced a 2-0 count with two outs before turning around a Chris Beck pitch for a two-run homer that cleared the tall wall in left field. It was the second home run of the season for Gomez, who was one of three Elon hitters to have two-hit games.
GSU (7-7, 0-1) started the scoring in the fourth inning when back-to-back Elon errors to begin the frame eventually led to an RBI single from Michael Burruss.
The Phoenix answered with two runs in their half of the fourth inning. Ryan Kinsella kicked things off with a double to right-center and advanced to third on a Garrett Koster single. Niko Fraser's sinking liner fell in center for a single allowing, Kinsella to score the first Elon run. After a passed ball, a wild pitch scored Koster to give Elon the lead.
In the fifth inning, GSU tied the game at 2 on T.D. Davis' solo homer to left field.
With two outs and a runner on second in the top of the sixth inning, GSU's Eric Phillips grounded a single through the left side of the infield. The runner raced around third base, but a strong throw from Jake Luce gunned down the potential go-ahead run at the plate to end the inning.
GSU's Beck (1-2) suffered the loss after he gave up four runs on eight hits in eight innings. He walked three and struck out eight.
Koster and Fraser were the other two Elon players to have two-hit outings, and the Phoenix swiped four bases in the game.
The Phoenix and Eagles will be back in action at 2 p.m. today in game two of the three-game series.