Elon Baseball Continues Homestand vs. Wagner

Posted by Press Release on February 20, 2014 at 11:37 am under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. — A five-game homestand by Elon baseball will continue this weekend as the Phoenix plays host to the Wagner Seahawks in a three-game series at Latham Park that begins at 2 p.m. on Friday. Saturday is also scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch and Sunday’s finale will start at 1:30 p.m.

The games on Friday and Sunday will air live on WSOE 89.3 FM and through elonphoenix.com.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Game 1
Elon – RH Michael Elefante (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Wagner – RH Ryan Casey (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Game 2
Elon – RH Lucas Bakker (0-0, 1.50 ERA)
Wagner – LH Matt Morris (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Game 3
Elon – LH Jake Stalzer (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Wagner – LH Paul Mammino (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Inside the Series
This series will mark the first-ever meetings on the baseball diamond between Elon and Wagner.

Countdown to 600: 579
Already Elon’s all-time winningest coach, skipper Mike Kennedy is closing in on career victory number 600. Kennedy currently has 579 wins to his credit, all in the maroon and gold.

No. 500
The next victory for the Phoenix will mark a milestone for the program. Elon’s next win will be the 500th for the program since moving to NCAA Division I play for the 2000 season. In that time, only three of the 18 D-I programs in the state of North Carolina have more victories than the Phoenix – North Carolina (654), East Carolina (559) and NC State (529).

First Impressions
In Elon’s season opener, numerous new players made a big impact in the Phoenix’s 6-5 victory over Cincinnati.

Starting pitcher Lucas Bakker, making the first Division I start of his career, carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended the day with 6.0 IP, one hit allowed, one run allowed, four walks and seven strikeouts.

Offensively, junior Ryan Cooper went 2-for-5 and drove in a run while freshman Nick Zammarelli was 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI in the win.

The following day, lefty Jake Stalzer went out and gave up one unearned run in 7.0 innings, walking two and striking out four in his Elon debut.

Preseason Picks
As the 2014 season approached, Southern Conference coaches and media both released their preseason picks for the league standings. Both groups tabbed the Phoenix to finish fourth in this, its final year as a SoCon member. In its first 10 seasons in the league, Elon finished lower than tied for third just once – its first year in the SoCon. That year (2004), Elon finished fourth out of 11 teams.

The coaches also selected a preseason all-league team which included first-team selection Sebastian Gomez from Elon.

New-Look Phoenix
The 2014 edition of the Phoenix will look much different from the 2013 squad which won the Southern Conference Tournament. This year’s team features 17 new faces.

On the mound, the maroon and gold lost 28 victories, 413.1 innings pitched (72.1 percent of last year’s innings) and 52 of the teams 64 starts.

Offensively, the Phoenix lost 26 home runs, 196 RBI and 193 runs scored.

We Are Family
The 2014 Elon roster sports two pairs of brothers. Junior outfielders Quinn Bower and Blaine Bower are twins from New Cumberland, Pa. The other set of brothers are junior outfielder/first baseman Sam Paone and freshman outfielder D.J. Paone who hail from Jupiter, Fla.

Elon or the Pros?
Elon’s 2014 roster sports two players who chose to don the maroon and gold and forgo a professional career.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher Tyler Manez was picked by the Houston Astros in the 32nd round, number 969 overall, in the 2012 MLB Draft while freshman infielder Nick Zammarelli was a 28th round selection, number 833 overall, of the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 draft.

Junior college transfer Jose Lazaro was also drafted out of high school, but opted to head to college. The right-handed pitcher was a 28th round selection, number 869 overall, by the New York Yankees in the 2011 MLB draft.

With its 34 wins in 2013, Elon has recorded 14 consecutive seasons with at least 30 wins. Elon has won 33, 30, 34, 34, 31, 32, 45, 32, 44, 41, 38, 36, 33 and 34 games in that span. In this time, the Phoenix has made six NCAA Division I Regional appearances (2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013).

Home Sweet Home
Traditionally, Elon has played well at Latham Park. Under Mike Kennedy, Elon has posted a 316-137-1 (.697) record at its on-campus stadium.

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