WILMINGTON, N.C. – Kyle Brnovich set the single-season strikeout record for the Elon University baseball program, but the Phoenix saw its season-long eight-game winning streak snapped in a 6-5 setback to the UNCW Seahawks in the opener of a three-game CAA series on Friday night.
Box Score | Play-by-Play
The loss dropped Elon to 25-17 overall and 7-6 in league play, while UNCW moved to 26-15, 8-5.
Brnovich (5-2) took the loss after allowing six runs on just three hits in 4.2 innings. He struck out three hitters to become the program’s single-season leader in that category. Brnovich now has 114 strikeouts on the year as he surpassed the 113 K’s thrown by Ronnie Johnson in 1977. He also moved into ninth place on the program’s career chart with 217, passing Kyle Webb’s 215 between 2010-13.
The win went to Alex Royalty (5-4) who gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 6.0 innings. He struck out six. Clark Cota recorded the final two outs for his ninth save of the year.
Three of Elon’s seven hits came off the bat of Cam Devanney, while Ryne Ogren doubled twice and drove three.
For UNCW, Mason Berne homered and drove in four, while Kep Brown had an RBI double.
How It Happened: The Seahawks grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the second inning. Greg Jones led off with a walk and scored on Brown’s double down the right field line. Brown would advance to third on a ground out and then cross the plate on Noah Bridges’ RBI grounder.
The lead stretched to 6-0 in the fifth. The Seahawks loaded the bases with two walks and a single before Berne connected on a 2-2 pitch with two outs for his ninth homer of the year, this one a grand slam to left.
Elon got on the board with a pair of runs in the sixth. Ogren laced a one-out double inside the bag at third and came in on Hayden Platt’s single to right-center. After an error put runners at second and third, Liam O’Reganlifted a sacrifice fly to right to make it a 6-2 game.
The Phoenix tried to rally in the ninth as the maroon and gold loaded the bases on a James Venuto pinch-hit single, Devanney one-out single through the right side and a Zach Evers walk. With two down, Ogren ripped his second double of the night, this one a three-RBI shot down the right field line. Cota then got the final out on a fly ball to left to keep the Phoenix at bay.
Notes: Elon stranded eight runners on the night… The Phoenix is now 27-37 all-time against UNCW… Elon is 21-3 on the year when out-hitting its opponent.
On Deck: Elon will look to even up the series in game two on Saturday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.