ELON, N.C. — Fresh off of hosting the Elon Invitational, the Phoenix baseball team will now play its next five games away from Latham Park. That stretch begins on Wednesday with a 4 p.m. game at long-time rival High Point. The game was pushed back to Wednesday from Tuesday due to inclement weather.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Elon – RH Matt Harris (0-0)
High Point – RH Peter Ripke (1-0)
Inside the Series
In a series that dates to 1926, Elon has faced High Point more than any other opponent. The two have met 204 times on the diamond with Elon claiming 122 victories and the Panthers 82.
Countdown to 600: 585
Already Elon’s all-time winningest coach, skipperMike Kennedy is closing in on career victory number 600. Kennedy currently has 585 wins to his credit, all in the maroon and gold.
Junior Jake Stalzer became just the second Elon pitcher to ever win SoCon Pitcher of the Week honors in back-to-back weeks as he was selected as the league’s recipient on March 3.
Stalzer ran his record to 3-0 by tossing Elon’s first complete game shutout since May 2010 with a 5-0 victory over Gardner-Webb on March 2. He struck out a career-best five hitters and scattered three hits. The shutout ran Stalzer’s streak of not allowing an earned run to 23.0 innings. He has allowed just one unearned run all season, in the first inning of his first start.
Through its first seven games of the 2014 season, Elon posted a 6-1 record. It marked the best start to a year for the maroon and gold since 2008 when the Phoenix won its first 10 games of the season.
With it’s 14-2 victory over Wagner on Feb. 21, the Phoenix program achieved a milestone. That win was the 500th for the program since moving to NCAA Division I play for the 2000 season. In that time, only three of the other 17 D-I programs in the state of North Carolina have more victories than the Phoenix – North Carolina, East Carolina and NC State.
We Are Family
The 2014 Elon roster sports two pairs of brothers. Junior outfielders Quinn Bower and Blaine Bower are twins from New Cumberland, Pa. The other set of brothers are junior outfielder/first baseman Sam Paone and freshman outfielder D.J. Paone who hail from Jupiter, Fla.
Elon or the Pros?
Elon’s 2014 roster sports two players who chose to don the maroon and gold and forgo a professional career.
Sophomore left-handed pitcher Tyler Manez was picked by the Houston Astros in the 32nd round, number 969 overall, in the 2012 MLB Draft while freshman infielder Nick Zammarelli was a 28th round selection, number 833 overall, of the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 draft.
Junior college transfer Jose Lazaro was also drafted out of high school, but opted to head to college. The right-handed pitcher was a 28th round selection, number 869 overall, by the New York Yankees in the 2011 MLB draft.
Closing it Out
Since 2007 Elon has been very good at closing out games. The Phoenix has gone a combined 223-17 (.929) when leading after seven innings and 232-15 (.939) when holding a lead following the eighth inning.
With its 34 wins in 2013, Elon has recorded 14 consecutive seasons with at least 30 wins. Elon has won 33, 30, 34, 34, 31, 32, 45, 32, 44, 41, 38, 36, 33 and 34 games in that span. In this time, the Phoenix has made six NCAA Division I Regional appearances (2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013).
Home Sweet Home
Traditionally, Elon has played well at Latham Park. Under Mike Kennedy, Elon has posted a 322-138-1 (.700) record at its on-campus stadium.