ELON, N.C. — Jake Stalzer continued to dominate opponents at the start of his Elon career as the lefty tossed the Phoenix’s first complete game shutout since May 2010 in a 5-0 victory over Gardner-Webb in the final game of the Elon Invitational.
Stalzer (3-0) has yet to allow an earned run in 23.0 innings to start his Elon career. The junior allowed one unearned run in the first inning of his first start and has not allowed a single run in 22.2 innings. On Sunday, Stalzer scattered just three hits and faced 33 hitters on the afternoon. He struck out five in his 100-pitch outing.
The last complete game shutout by an Elon pitcher came in the Southern Conference Tournament when Jimmy Reyes went the distance in a 1-0 victory over Samford on May 26, 2010. The three hits allowed marked the fewest allowed by Elon since Feb. 18, 2012 in a 4-1 win over George Mason when the Phoenix surrendered three hits.
“He’s (Stalzer) been pretty special,” said Elon head coach Mike Kennedy. “It’s not easy to do that. He just hammers the strike zone, hammers it down. He doesn’t get rattled, doesn’t get fazed at any point in time. That was special to watch. The end result gets him a shutout. I’m glad I got to see that one.”
While Stalzer shut down Gardner-Webb (3-8), the Elon (8-3) offense pounded out 12 hits on the afternoon.
Elon went to the last of the fifth holding a 1-0 advantage before striking for three runs on four hits. Chris Hall started things by lacing a double to the gap in right-center, his first career hit. A bunt single from Nick Zammarelli looked like it would leave runners on the corners, but the throw to first was wide and allowed Hall to score and Zammarelli to race to third. With runners on second and third, Casey Jones drove home two with a single to center to give the Phoenix a 4-0 lead.
Jones drove home his third run of the day in the last of the seventh as his single to center plated Zammarelli who had started the inning with a single.
Four Elon players posted multi-hit outings — Jones (3-for-4), Gomez (2-for-4), Zammarelli (2-for-3, two runs) and Quinn Bower (3-for-3, two runs).
“I thought our at bats were better,” added Kennedy. “We didn’t chase and got pitches up in the zone and put some really good swings on them.”
The loss went to Erik Heiligenstadt (0-2) who gave up five runs on 11 hits in 6.1 innings.
Elon will be play its next five games away from Latham Park. That stretch begins Tuesday with a 4 p.m. first pitch.