Andrew MacDonald pitched a complete game in only his second start of the season to lead Elon to an 8-1 victory over Furman in a Southern Conference Tournament elimination game Friday evening at Fluor Field.
The loss ended the season for Furman (32-25) while the victory sends Elon (29-28) into a Saturday 1:30 matchup against Georgia Southern.
Elon led 2-1 after five innings and made it 6-1 in the sixth after Sebastian Gomez stroked an leadoff double and later scored on a passed ball.
The Phoenix blew the game open in the seventh, combining five hits with three walks to plate five runs for an 8-1 lead. Anotonio Alvarez's two-run single proved to be the frame's big blow.
MacDonald (4-1) scattered seven hits and walked two while striking out seven in earning the victory. The senior left-hander yielded four hits over the first two innings and a lead off single to Hunter Burton in the third, but then proceeded to keep the Paladins hitless over the next 5 2/3 innings until Taylor Johnson opened the ninth with a single.
Sebastian Gomez paced the Phoenix offensively, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Elon finished with eight hits.
Burton's 2-for-4 performance included a leadoff double in the first that set up the first run. Will Muzika followed with a single to put runners on the corners, but he was erased when Elon first baseman Ryan Kinsella gloved a sharp grounder off Johnson's bat to start a double play to keep the Paladins from a potential big inning.
Elon got to Furman starting and losing pitcher Tyler Wood (2-2) in the second, taking advantage of three walks, a hit, and a sacrifice fly to take a 2-1 lead.
Wood was lifted after two innings and replaced by Jacques de Gruy, who pitched effectively until the decisive seventh.