ELON, N.C. — With the month of March rapidly coming to a close, the Elon baseball team will play a mid-week home-and-home series with Wake Forest on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Phoenix will head to Winston-Salem, N.C. for a 6 p.m. game before returning home to take on the Demon Deacons at Latham Park on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Both games will air live on WPCM 95.1 FM and 920 AM along with online through elonphoenix.com. Wednesday’s game will also be available to watch for free on Phoenix All-Access.
On Wednesday, Elon will be holding two promotions. The first is Military Appreciation Day. Anyone who presents a valid military ID at the gate on Wednesday will receive one free admission to the game. It will also be Take a Kid to the Game night. For this promotion, fans can receive one free admission for a child for each regular-price ticket ($7) purchased.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Elon – LH Graham Edwards (1-0, 6.17 ERA)
Wake Forest – RH Connor Johnstone (1-1, 3.31 ERA)
Elon – TBA
Wake Forest – RH Matt Pirro (0-1, 9.95 ERA)
Inside the Series
Having first met in 1909, Elon and Wake Forest have played 89 baseball games prior to this week’s pair. Elon is 35-54 in those games. The two squads have met every season since 2002.
Countdown to 600: 591
Already Elon’s all-time winningest coach, skipper Mike Kennedy is closing in on career victory number 600. Kennedy currently has 591 wins to his credit, all in the maroon and gold.
Bakker on a Roll
Over his last three starts, all wins, junior Lucas Bakker has not allowed an earned run. In fact, Bakker has not allowed an earned run in his last 26.0 innings of work. It is the second streak of 20+ innings without allowing an earned run by an Elon pitcher in 2014. Earlier this year, junior Jake Stalzer had a streak of 23.1 innings without an earned run.
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 227-18 (.927) when leading after seven innings and 238-15 (.941) 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).