ELON, N.C. – The Elon University baseball team opened up its 2017 season with a 10-5 victory over the visiting Longwood Lancers at Latham Park on Friday afternoon. The win was the 15th opening-day victory in 21 seasons for Elon head coach Mike Kennedy.
The Phoenix (1-0) had five players with multi-hit outings, including a 3-for-4, two-run, two-RBI performance from red-shirt freshman Cam Devanney and a 2-for-4, three-run day by junior transfer Zach Evers.
Longwood (0-1) got two hits each from Michael Osinski and Nate Blakeney.
Sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Conroy (1-0) strike out a career-best seven hitters in 5.2 innings of work to earn the win. He allowed two runs on five hits. With his seven strikeouts, Conroy matched the most by an Elon pitcher on opening day during the program’s NCAA Division I tenure.
The loss was charged to Cody Wager (0-1) who surrendered six runs (three earned) on eight hits in 3.1 innings. He struck out five.
How It Happened: After Conroy set the side down in order in the top of the first, Evers got the Phoenix going with a leadoff double down the third-base line. Elon would load the bases with two outs when Devanney ripped a double inside the third-base bag to put the Phoenix up 2-0. A wild pitch would later up the maroon and gold’s edge to 3-0 in the first.
Evers struck again in the second, belting a solo shot over the wall in left with two outs to make it a 4-0 game.
The Phoenix would increase its lead to 7-0 through five innings before Longwood plated two in the sixth. Elon would respond with a three-run bottom of the sixth to push its advantage to 10-2. Kyle Jackson delivered a two-RBI, pinch-hit single in that uprising.
The Lancers would score twice more in the seventh and then got a solo home run from Blakeney in the eighth to cap the scoring.
Notes: Dating back to last season Ryne Ogren has now reached base safely in 23 consecutive games… Conroy became just the third sophomore to earn the opening day start for Elon since its move to Division I for the 2000 season – the others were Jimmy Reyes (2009) and Scott Light (2000)… Elon pitchers combined to strike out 13 Longwood hitters.
On Deck: Elon and Longwood will square off in game two of the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Latham Park.