Elon Baseball: The Citadel Visits Latham Park for SoCon Series

ELON, N.C. — For the third weekend in a row, the Elon baseball team will host a Southern Conference series. This weekend the Phoenix welcomes in The Citadel in a rematch of the 2013 SoCon Tournament championship outing for three games starting on Friday at 6 p.m. Games are also scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

All three games will air live on WPCM 95.1 FM and 920 AM along with online through elonphoenix.com. The games on Saturday and Sunday will also be available to watch for free on Phoenix All-Access.

Free Stuff Friday returns for the series opener and fans will be receive one of a variety of give-aways as they enter Latham Park. Sunday will be Sunday Funday with bounce houses, cornhole and Smitty’s Ice Cream.

Probable Starting Pitchers
Elon – RH Lucas Bakker (4-1, 1.05 ERA)
Citadel – LH Logan Cribb (1-3, 6.39 ERA)

Elon – RH Michael Elefante (4-0, 1.80 ERA)
Citadel – LH James Reeves (3-1, 2.78 ERA)

Elon – LH Jake Stalzer (3-2, 2.25 ERA)
Citadel – RH Austin Mason (1-1, 6.14 ERA)

Inside the Series
In the past 10 seasons, Elon and The Citadel have faced off on the diamond 41 times. In that span, the Phoenix has won 23 games and the Bulldogs 18. Of the 41 games, 10 have come in the SoCon Tournament, including a 6-5 Elon win in the tournament final a year ago in Greenville, S.C. Elon has won 10 of the last 11 meetings in the series.

Overall: Elon leads 23-18
At Elon: Elon leads 9-6
At The Citadel: Tied 11-11
At Neutral Site: Elon leads 3-1
Last 10 Meetings: Elon leads 9-1

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.

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).