ELON, N.C. – The Elon University baseball team will carry a three-game home winning streak into this weekend’s three-game series with the visiting Rider Broncs that gets underway on Friday, March 16, with a 4 p.m. first pitch. The action will continue at Latham Park on Saturday with a 2 p.m. start and wrap up with a 1:30 p.m. contest on Sunday.
Tickets can be purchased at elonphoenix.com or by calling 336-278-6750.
Elon: So. RH Kyle Brnovich (2-0, 1.35)
Rider: Fr. LH Joe Papeo (1-2, 4.58)
Elon: So. RH George Kirby (2-1, 1.88)
Rider: So. LH Pete Soporowski (1-1, 1.16)
Elon: So. LH Owen Lorenz (1-2, 6.50)
Rider: Fr. LH Zach Gakeler (0-1, 4.08)
The weekend series will mark the first time that the Phoenix and Broncs have met on the baseball diamond.
Rider carries a 5-11 record into the weekend following a midweek split of two games at Campbell. The Broncs are hitting .240 with 66 runs scored (4.1 per game) and 27 doubles on the year. A threat to run, Rider has stolen 24 bases in 30 attempts. Jake Bender’s .344 average is a team-best, while Harrison McClure leads the team with two home runs and 10 RBI.
On the mound, Rider has a 4.51 team ERA and allowed opponents to hit at a .288 clip. The Broncs have 95 strikeouts and 56 walks. Saturday starter Pete Soporowski has posted a 1.16 ERA in 23.1 innings, while striking out 19 hitters and issuing just four walks.
HEAD COACH MIKE KENNEDY
Now in his 22nd season as the head coach at his alma mater, Mike Kennedy (’91) is the winningest coach in program history. He has compiled a career record of 686-533-3 and has led his program to five regular season titles, three conference tournament championships and seven NCAA postseason appearances.
RACKING UP THE K’S
Through the first 17 games of the season, the Elon pitching staff has put up some impressive strikeout totals. Three pitchers have eclipsed the 10-K mark in individual outings as sophomore George Kirby (11 Ks on opening day,11 at Georgia Southern and 10 vs. Appalachian State), Robbie Welhaf (12 in a relief outing against Radford) and Kyle Brnovich (11 vs. Marshall and 12 vs. Appalachian State) have all accomplished the feat.
As a staff on the year, the Phoenix has recorded 188 strikeouts on the year, an average of 11.1 per game.
Elon junior shortstop Ryne Ogren has been a mainstay in the Phoenix lineup since his arrival on campus. The Devon, Pa., native has now started 106 consecutive games dating back to his freshman campaign. Ogren has started all 17 games this year, started all 56 games a year ago and started the final 33 contests in 2016. The last time Ogren did not appear in Elon’s starting lineup was March 22, 2016 against High Point.
MOUNTAINEERS CAN’T FIND THEIR WAY HOME
In Elon’s three-game series sweep of Appalachian State, the Phoenix pitching staff allowed just two runs in 27.0 innings. The Mountaineers failed to score over the first 24.2 innings of the series before scoring twice in the seventh inning of game three.
ELON MATCHES ALL-TIME BEST MARK
With its two runs allowed in the three games with Appalachian State, Elon matched a program record for runs allowed in a three-game series. Elon also allowed just two runs in a sweep of Presbyterian in 1992, however, that series featured a pair of seven-inning games.
2 – vs. Appalachian State (March 9-10, 2018)
2 – at Presbyterian (March 7-8, 1992)
3 – vs. James Madison (March 31-April 2, 2017)
3 – vs. Shippensburg (Feb. 26-27, 1994)
4 – vs. UMass (March 3-5, 2017)
4 – 4 at UNC Asheville (Mary 11-12, 2002)
4 – vs. Mars Hill (March 16-17, 1996)
4 – at Wingate (April 3-4, 1993)
For the first time since 2011, Elon posted back-to-back shutouts as the Phoenix defeated Appalachian State by 10-0 and 5-0 margins. In 2011, Elon defeated Wake Forest 5-0 on the road before besting Davidson 10-0 at Latham Park.
It also marked the first back-to-back shutouts of the same opponent since 8-0 and 10-0 decisions over Wofford in 2006.
Following the series with Rider, Elon will welcome in the Maryland Terrapins for a 4 p.m. game on Wednesday, March 21.