May 30, 2009

Courtesy of Elon Athletics

ATLANTA, Ga. - Jimmy Reyes struck out a career-high 14 hitters and allowed just three runs on eight hits in 8.0 innings to lead the 22nd-ranked and second-seeded Elon Phoenix to a 4-3 victory over fourth-seeded Georgia State in an elimination game at the Atlanta Regional of the 2009 NCAA Baseball Championship on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, Elon moved to 41-17 on the year. The Georgia State Panthers finished their season at 39-22.

With two outs in the first, Chase Austin was hit by a pitch. After he stole second, Austin came around to score on Pat Irvine's double down the right field line. The double was the 136th of the year for the Phoenix, a new program record and it also extended Irvine's career-best hitting streak to 18 games. Bennett Davis followed by crushing his 18th homer of the year over the wall down the left field line as Elon claimed an early 3-0 advantage.

Georgia State got one back when Derek Simmons homered to right-center with one out in the bottom of the first. It was his 13th of the year. With two away, Bradley Logan singled and then scored on Matt Van Horn's double down the left field line, pulling the Panthers within one at 3-2.

The Panther third started with a single from Nick Hogan and a walk to Simmons. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners up 90 feet before Logan's ground out tied the game by plating Hogan.

Dallas Tarleton's one-out infield single in the top of the fifth snapped a streak of 11 consecutive Elon hitters retired by Panther starter Ryan Moore, but the Phoenix could not score as Tarleton was left stranded on second.

Elon went back on top when Cory Harrilchak led off the top of the sixth with his 16th homer of the year, a line drive over the wall in right.

Georgia State got back-to-back two-out singles from Michael McCree and Hogan to put runners on the corners for Simmons. After Hogan stole second, Simmons struck out swinging to end the threat and keep the Phoenix out in front.

The Phoenix put two aboard with one out thanks to singles from Harrilchak and Irvine. Harrilchak advanced to third on a fly out, but did not score as a ground out ended the inning.

Marc Mimeault led off the bottom of the ninth with a single before a sac bunt moved him to second. Brandon Williams lined out to right for the second out before McCree grounded out to third to seal the Phoenix victory.

Reyes improved to 8-0 with his steallar outing. He now has 101 strikeouts on the year, becoming just the fourth pitcher in program history to notch at least 100 K's in a season. Reyes walked just one to go along with his 14 punchouts. Daniel Britt threw a scoreless ninth to earn his second save of the season.

Moore fell to 7-2 after allowing all four Phoenix runs on six hits in 7.0 innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.

Harrilchak, Irvine and Tarleton all had 2-for-4 days at the plate for Elon who had eight hits on the day.

Hogan, Mimeault and McCree all posted 2-for-4 performances for the Panthers.

The Phoenix advances to play at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon against the loser of the Georgia Tech-Southern Miss game.