Sputtering Offense Costs Tigers In Loss

Auburn, Ala.--A day off didn't help the Auburn offense as Elon held the Tigers to just two runs on 10 hits as the Phoenix won the first game of a Sunday doubleheader 3-2 at Plainsman Park.

The win gives Elon the series victory with one game remaining on Sunday.

The story of the game for Elon was starting pitcher Matt Chastain. Coming into the game with a 1-0 record and an ERA of 2.08, Chastain pitched seven strong innings as the Tigers continue to struggle at the plate. For Auburn starter Brett Butts pitched well enough to win, allowing just three runs on six hits in five innings, but got his second loss of the season.

Offensively the Tigers were led by Josh Donaldson, Andy Bennett, Russell Dixon and Justin Bristow, who all had two hits. Unfortunately Auburn struggled with runners on base, leaving nine runners on base for the game.

Elon got things going in the second as Jordy Snyder reached on an error by Josh Stapleton to put the Phoenix in business. Following a fly out for the second out of the inning, Snyder stole second to get into scoring position where a single by Patrick Irvine scored him for the game's first run.

Butts pitched well but couldn't get the offensive support in the loss.

They added the game's second run in the third as Donny Jobe singled to center to open the inning and Paul Bennett followed with a bunt single that pushed Jobe all the way to third. Butts did his job, getting Chris Price to ground into a double play, but Jobe scored on the play to make it 2-0 Elon.

The Tigers got one run back in the bottom of the inning and missed an opportunity for a big inning. With one out Tyler Johnstone singled to give the team some life. Following a Stapleton flyout to left, Donaldson singled up the middle to put runners on first and second for Bennett. Auburn's top RBI man, Bennett singled to right field to score Johnstone. On the play Donaldson was thrown out at third to end the inning.

Elon put the finishing touches on its day in the fifth as Ryan Addison doubled down the left field line to get things going for the Phoenix. Following a Jobe walk and a wild pitch from Butts, a groundout by Price scored Addison to make it 3-1 Elon.

Auburn added a single run in the fifth as a two-out double by Bennett scored Donaldson to cut the lead to just one, but the Tigers wouldn't threaten the rest of the way as Chastain and reliever Chad Tilley shut the offense down the rest of the way for the victory. The win moves Elon to 7-3 while Auburn falls to 6-5.

Game two of the doubleheader is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday


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