When Elon coach Mike Kennedy calls Scott Riddle a "draftable player," he's talking baseball.
But he could be talking football.
Riddle, a 6-0, 210-pound junior, is best known as Elon's record-setting quarterback, a strong-armed passer who led the Phoenix to the FCS playoffs last year.
Riddle is making a name for himself on the diamond this season, batting .311 with five home runs and 30 RBIs and starting at third base for Elon, the No. 4 seed in the Southern Conference baseball tournament.
"Scott is a talent," Kennedy said. "A lot of people think he's just a football guy who plays baseball. But he was a very good baseball player out of high school, a draft-type player out of high school before he chose to play football."
Riddle was a reserve last season, batting .231 in 25 games. But with the departure of infielders Chase Austin, drafted in the fifth round by the Florida Marlins, and Ben Davis, taken in the 42nd round by Tampa Bay, Riddle had his chance.
He's made the most of it, and missed just five games despite also taking part in spring practice with the football team.
"He'd play in an intrasquad game in football and then show up for a baseball game that night," Kennedy said. "But we were fortunate that he didn't have to do that too often."
Riddle will play his senior season in football in the fall, but could play as many as two more seasons with the baseball team.
Benedict comes up big
Pitcher Matt Benedict gave Western Carolina's tournament hopes a big boost Wednesday, eating up 7 2/3 innings in an 11-4 victory over Georgia Southern.
Benedict's effort saved the WCU effort for today's winners bracket game with hot-hitting College of Charleston. Benedict (9-1, 2.45 ERA) threw 111 pitches and struck out seven, scattering 10 hits and allowing two runs.
"Today was all about Matt Benedict for me," WCU coach Bobby Moranda said. "He commanded three or four pitches and really competed and set the tone for us."
GSU hopes take hit
Georgia Southern (34-23) entered the SoCon tournament on the NCAA bubble, and the bubble might be about to pop after the Eagles' loss to Western Carolina. GSU faces App State in an elimination game at 9 a.m. today
"It's survival now," GSU coach Rodney Hennon said. "Once you put yourself in that losers' bracket, you just have to go out and play hard and get after it and find a way to make it to the next day. In order to do that, we're going to have to come with a little more energy tomorrow as a team."
The SoCon tournament continued a streak of extra-inning openers when the College of Charleston beat App State.
This was the third straight year the tournament's opening game has gone extra innings, and in each case it has gone at least 11. In 2008, Western Carolina beat Davidson, 11-10, in 12 innings. Eventual champ Georgia Southern went 11 innings before beating Davidson, 4-3, last year.
Evening things up
With its win over Appalachian State, the College of Charleston evened its record at 6-6 in SoCon tournament first-round games.