Elon Baseball to Open 2015 Campaign vs. Penn State This Weekend

Posted by Press Release on February 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm under College | Comments are off for this article

ELON, N.C. – Elon baseball’s 2015 season will get underway this weekend as the Phoenix hosts the Penn State Nittany Lions for a three-game series Feb. 13-14. The two sides will play a 4 p.m. game at Latham Park on Friday before wrapping up the series with a noon doubleheader on Saturday.

Tickets may be purchased through the Elon ticket office or online at elonphoenix.com. Adult tickets sell for $5 and youth (12 and under) tickets are available for $3.

Live Coverage
Fans can follow the Phoenix via live stats by going to the Elon baseball schedule page at elonphoenix.com. Twitter updates will be posted on the @ElonScores account or fans can register to have score updates texted to their phone.

Starting Pitchers
Friday, Feb. 13
Elon: RHP Michael Elefante (6-3, 5.40 ERA, 56.2 IP, 33 K in 2014)
Penn State: LHP Nick Hedge (2-5, 6.21 ERA, 37.2 IP, 23 K in 2014)

Saturday, Feb. 14 (Game 1)
Elon: LHP Jake Stalzer (5-4, 3.97 ERA, 77.0 IP, 33 K in 2014)
Penn State: RHP Nick Distasio (No stats in 2014)

Saturday, Feb. 14 (Game 2)
Elon: RHP Lucas Bakker (7-3, 3.81 ERA, 87.1 IP, 64 K in 2014)
Penn State: LHP Taylor Lehman (No stats in 2014)

The Series
Elon and Penn State have met just once before on the baseball diamond. That game was played in 1928 with Elon claiming an 8-2 victory.

Elon in Season Openers
In its 111 baseball seasons, Elon has gone 64-46 (with one unknown result) in season openers. Under Mike Kennedy, the maroon and gold has gone 11-7 in its first game of the season, including victories in three consecutive openers. Elon has posted a record of 13-5 in home openers under Kennedy. The Phoenix has won four of its last five home openers.

Preseason Honors
Elon senior Casey Jones was named one of the 50 players on the preseason watch list for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. He was also selected as a first-team 2015 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American following a junior season that saw him claim Southern Conference Player of the Year honors and All-America distinction from three organizations. Jones hit .418 with seven homers and 53 RBI to win Elon’s triple crown. He finished in the top five in the nation in batting average.

Jones was also recognized as the preseason CAA Player of the Year and was a preseason all-league selection.

Senior right-handed pitcher Lucas Bakker (7-3, 3.81 ERA, 64 K in 2014) earned honorable mention preseason all-league accolades.

Coaching Continuity
Elon skipper Mike Kennedy is in his 19th year at the helm of his alma mater, but what may be more impressive is the tenure of his staff. Associate head coach Greg Starbuck is in his 17th season at Elon and assistant coach Robbie Huffstetler is in his 12th year in the maroon and gold. That group is one of just six in Division I baseball to have been together for at least 12 seasons. The others are Minnesota (33/30/17), Lamar (38/17/15), Miami (22/16/13), Virginia (12/12/12) and Gonzaga (12/12/12).

CAA Era Begins
On July 1, 2014, Elon became a member of the Colonial Athletic Association and enters its first foray into CAA play this season. The Phoenix’s first league series will come at home against James Madison from March 20-22.

On Deck
The Phoenix opens the season with a seven-game homestand. Following the series with Penn State, Elon will play host to Triad rival High Point on Wednesday, Feb. 18. Game time is slated for 4 p.m.

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