ELON, N.C. – As was the case all weekend, the Elon University baseball team received strong pitching and was aided by some timely hitting as the Phoenix completed a three-game sweep of the visiting UMass Minutemen with a 5-1 victory at Latham Park on Sunday afternoon.
Elon (6-6) starter Kyle Brnovich did not earn a decision, but limited UMass to one unearned run on three hits in 6.0 innings. The true freshman struck out a career-best nine hitters. Picking up the win out of the bullpen was Sean Byrnes (1-0). Byrnes did not allow a run on one hit in 1.1 innings of work. Danny Crowe followed him to the mound, recording the final five outs for his first save of the year.
Mike Geannelis (0-1) took the loss after being charged with two runs on five hits in 7.0 innings. He struck out nine.
At the plate, Elon saw Joe Satterfield, Zach Evers and Jamal Clarke all notch two-hit performances. Clarke drove in two runs and Evers homered for the third time on the year.
Two of the five Minuteman hits came from Jon Avallone.
How It Happened: UMass took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning as Avallone doubled, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a Ryan Lever single.
Elon would knot it up in the third as Kyle Jackson’s sacrifice fly to left scored Satterfield. The Phoenix used another sac fly, this one from Ryne Ogren, to grab a 2-1 lead when pinch-runner Tyler Stanley scored in the seventh.
A three-run eighth gave the Phoenix some breathing room. Evers led off the inning by sending the first pitch from Casey Aubin over the wall in left-center. Jackson followed with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on Shawn Blake’s infield single. After Blake advanced to second on a ground out, Clarke grounded an 0-1 pitch through the left side of the infield to drive in both runners.
Notes: Six of Brnovich’s nine strikeouts were looking… Evers has reached base safely in all 12 games this season… The Phoenix allowed just four runs (three earned) in the three-game sweep of the Minutemen… Elon’s three starting pitchers combined to strike out 24 hitters in 20.2 innings over the weekend.
On Deck: The Phoenix will make the short trip to Greensboro, N.C., to take on the UNCG Spartans on Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.