WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – With the weather finally cooperating, the Elon University baseball program made the most of a trip to Winston-Salem with an 11-1 win over Quinnipiac and a 6-3 victory over host #20 Wake Forest. The Phoenix improves to 5-1 on the season.
George Kirby (2-0) picked up the win against Quinnipiac after giving up one run on six hits. The junior pitched 7.0 complete innings while fanning 11 batters. Kyle Greenler pitched 2.0 innings of relief with one hit, a walk, and two strikeouts. Adam Spurlin finished 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, one run, and three RBIs to lead the Phoenix at the plate. Anthony Galason (1-for-4) also drove in three runs, while Jack Roberts(1-for-4) and Matt Oldham (1-for-2) brought in a pair each.
In the second game versus the Demon Deacons, Dean McCarthy (1-0) earned the win after allowing one run on two walks with a punch out. Ty Adcock closed out the game, throwing 1.1 innings of one-hit ball with a walk and two strikeouts to secure the save. Starter Kyle Brnovich tossed 4.2 innings with three hits, two runs, four walks, and five strikeouts for the no decision. Brandon Justice also made an appearance, sitting down three Wake Forest batters across 2.1 innings.
On offense, Cam Devanney had a big night at the plate finishing 2-for-4 with a long ball, a triple, two runs, and two RBIs. Joe Satterfield also posted a multi-hit effort as the junior went 2-for-5 and scored a run.
How It Happened (Game 1): Elon looked to open the scoring in the top of the third as Spurlin singled to short and took second on a throwing error. Nick Cicci then followed with a hit to shallow center to put runners on the corners, but the Quinnipiac defense turned a double play on a line out back to the pitcher. The Bobcats then induced a fly out to left to keep Elon off the board.
Devanney led off the top half of the fifth with a single to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a Liam O’Regangroundout to short moved Devanney up to third, the Amherst, N.H. native came home on a Spurlin double to straightaway center field for the first run of the game.
Elon broke open the game with a five-run top of the seventh. After a Devanney walk, O’Regan was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Spurlin then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move them up and Oldham drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases. Tyler Stanley followed with a walk for the free RBI and Galason cleared the bases with a double to the gap in right center. After a Quinnipiac pitching change, Roberts greeted the reliever with a double down the right-field line.
The Bobcats broke up the chance for a shutout in the bottom half of the frame. Quinnipiac’s Andre Marrero homered down the right-field line for the team’s lone run in the game.
Elon pulled away down the stretch with three runs in the eighth and another two in the ninth.
How It Happened (Game 2): After two and a half innings of scoreless ball, the Demon Deacons brought in two runs on as many hits for the early lead. After consecutive doubles, a wild pitch placed a runner on third and a ground out back to the pitcher made it 2-0.
Elon wrestled away the lead in the next half inning. Satterfield led off with a single to third and Oldham followed with a double down the left-field line. An Adcock sacrifice fly to right put the maroon and gold on the board before Devanney tripled to right center. After a Spurlin walk, an O’Regan rocket back at the pitcher allowed the Phoenix to go ahead, 3-2.
Devanney had another big inning in the top of the sixth as the redshirt-junior led off with a solo shot the right-field corner. Spurlin walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch and another pair of walks juiced the bases. Roberts then singled to right to plate a run with another coming around on a fielding error.
Wake Forest cut Elon’s lead in half with a tally in the bottom of the sixth. The home team loaded the bases with one out and then picked up a run on a fielder’s choice. Justice was able to limit the damage though as the senior right-hander got the batter looking.
The Deacs had a chance to cut into Elon’s lead in the bottom of the eighth. The Old Gold and Black put runners on first and second with two outs to force the Phoenix to call in Adcock to pitch. The Oxford, N.C. product walked the first batter he saw, but the Elon defense got the force out at second to protect the lead. Wake Forest had a runner in scoring position in the ninth, but Adock caught the batter swinging for his second save on the season.
Notes: The 5-1 start to the season is the best for the Phoenix since 2014. That year the club started off 6-1…Adcock picks up his second save in as many opportunities…Kirby reached double-digit strikeouts for the second time in as many outings this season…The win marks the first against a Top-25 team since March 2, 2016 when Elon edged #16 East Carolina 8-7 in 10 innings. It also marks the third win over a ranked Demon Deacons squad. The maroon and gold last defeated a ranked Wake Forest team 4-1 on Feb. 12, 2003 when the Deacs were #7. Today was also the first time in school history that the program has beaten a Top-25 club in the second game of a double-header.
On Deck: Wake Forest and Elon are back at Latham Park on Monday, Feb. 25 as the Phoenix hosts the Deacs for a 5 p.m. contest. Elon then heads to Greenville, N.C. on Wednesday to play #11 East Carolina in a 4 p.m. game at Clark-LeClair Stadium.