ELON, N.C. – Ryan Conroy threw the first complete game of his career and James Venuto drove in a pair of runs to help lead the Elon University baseball team to a 3-2 victory over the VMI Keydets in game one of a three-game series at Latham Park on Friday afternoon.
Conroy (3-0) matched a personal best with nine strikeouts and scattered just four hits. Only one of the two runs he allowed was earned as the sophomore lowered his ERA to 1.95.
Offensively, Elon (8-10) got a pair of hits from both Venuto and Kyle Jackson. Venuto doubled and had two RBI, while Jackson homered for the second straight game, and third time this season, and scored twice.
For VMI (7-9), Josh Winder (3-1) also went the distance, allowing three runs on seven hits in 8.0 innings. Winder struck out six.
The Keydets were led at the plate by Matt Dunlevy’s 2-for-4, one-RBI day.
How It Happened: With the game tied at two in the bottom of the eighth, Jackson strode to the plate with two outs before turning on a 2-1 pitch and launching a line drive over the high wall in left field for what would be the game-winning run.
Elon opened the scoring in the second as Jackson reached on a leadoff double and scored on Venuto’s single.
VMI would tie it with an unearned run in the fifth before the Phoenix went back up by a 2-1 margin in the sixth as Venuto doubled home Ryne Ogren.
Peyton Maddox would knot it back up when he led off the seventh by sending the first pitch of the inning over the wall in left for his third home run of the year.
Notes: During his six-game hitting streak, Ogren has gone 10-for-24 (.417)… Conroy has now struck out seven or more in four of his five starts this season… Conroy faced 34 batters and threw first-pitch strikes to 24 of them.
On Deck: Game two of the series between Elon and VMI is set for a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday, March 18.