ELON, N.C. – Fresh off a three-game sweep of the UMass Minutemen, the Elon University baseball team will renew a rivalry with UNC Greensboro on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Phoenix and Spartans will square off at UNCG Baseball Stadium in Greensboro for the first of two meetings this year.
Tuesday – Elon: Fr. RH George Kirby (0-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. UNCG: Jr. RH Dan Loats (0-2, 11.05 ERA)
Elon sports a 35-16 all-time record against UNCG after the two sides split a pair of games last year. The first meeting between the programs came on March 2, 1991 with Elon picking up an 11-9 victory. Last year, UNCG won 7-3 in Greensboro before the Phoenix earned a 14-8 victory at home at Latham Park. Elon is 16-13 in games played at UNCG.
In its third season in the CAA, the league’s coaches selected the Phoenix to finish fifth in the preseason poll. Senior CJ Young was honored as a preseason all-CAA selection.
1. UNCW (8)
2. William & Mary (1)
3. College of Charleston
6. James Madison
Oh Captain, My Captain
Head coach Mike Kennedy announced prior to the 2017 season that five players will serve as team captains this year. Seniors Jordan Barrett, Danny Crowe and Will Nance will be joined by sophomore Ryne Ogren and red-shirt freshman Cam Devanney as the Phoenix captains in 2017.
Welhaf Dealing at Home
Junior Robbie Welhaf has made two starts on the mound at Latham Park in 2017 and has yet to allow a run at home. Welhaf opened the season with a nine-inning, no-hit shutout of Longwood before not allowing a run over 8.0 innings in a victory over UMass. The righty is 2-0 at home and has allowed five hits and four walks while striking out 16 hitters. Opponents are hitting just .094 against him at Latham Park.
After stealing just 37 bases over the course of the 2016 season, the Phoenix showed off some speed during its opening weekend against Longwood. The maroon and gold was successful on 10 of its 13 steal attempts against the Lancers.
On the year, Elon now has stolen 13 bases in 18 tries.
I Choose Elon
Freshman right-handed pitcher George Kirby had a chance to begin a professional career out of high school after being a 32nd round selection of the New York Mets in the 2016 MLB Draft, but elected to come to Elon. Kirby is the fourth player since the 2010 draft to choose to join the Phoenix instead of turning pro. The others were pitcher David Whitehead (36th round in 2010), pitcher Tyler Manez (32nd round in 2012) and infielder Nick Zammarelli (28th round in 2013).
Elon’s 2017 schedule features 14 games against teams that participated in NCAA Tournament action a year ago. Of the Phoenix’s 14 non-conference opponents, seven were selected to finish in the top three of their league (or division). Among them were league (or division) preseason favorites in East Carolina (1st AAC), UNCG (1st SoCon), High Point (1st Big South) and North Carolina (1st ACC Coastal Division).