ELON, N.C. - The Marist baseball team lost its season-opener on Friday against Elon in the Inn & Suites Invitational by a score of 11-3. Sophomore third baseman Alec Petrone (Mahopac, N.Y.) and senior shortstop Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa) each had two hits to lead the way for the Marist offense.
Marist opened the scoring in the top half of the first after junior right fielder Pat Welsh (Millersville, Pa) singled to begin a one-out rally. Shank then doubled on the first pitch he saw to move Welsh to third. With two runners in scoring position, Mike Orefice (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) reached on a throwing error by the shortstop that allowed Welsh to score with the game's first run. With one out and runners on the corners, Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.) then successfully converted a squeeze to score Shank.
The Red Foxes surrendered eight runs on seven hits in the bottom of the first inning to give Elon the 8-2 lead. Marist senior starting pitcher Brett Houseal (Landsville, Pa) settled down and proceeded to throw five scoreless frames before giving way to junior Chris Thorsen (Lititz, Pa). Houseal had his location working well, throwing 61 out of his 98 pitches for strikes en route to four strike outs.
Marist scratched out their third and final run of the game in the eighth after Orefice singled and came around to score on a fielder's choice by sophomore catcher Mark Swertfager.
Elon responded with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to bring the score to its 11-3 final.
Houseal took the loss for Marist, moving him to 0-1 on the season. The winning pitcher for Elon was left-hander Dylan Clark who tossed six innings while allowing one earned run and striking out three.
Marist will look to rebound tomorrow at 4 p.m. as they take on Virginia Commonwealth. Junior right-hander Kevin McCarthy (Malverne, N.Y.) will get the start for the Red Foxes opposed by VCU starter Tyler Buckley.