ELON, N.C. – Now five games into its 2018 season, the Elon University baseball team has played four one-run games after falling by an 8-7 margin to the visiting Kansas State Wildcats on Wednesday, Feb. 21.
It marks just the second time in over 100 years of Elon baseball that the program has played four one-run games in its first five outings of the season. The other was in 1934 when the maroon and gold opened the year with four consecutive one-run contests.
Making the first start of his career, Elon sophomore Dean McCarthy (0-1) took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits in 1.2 innings.
Ryne Ogren paced the Phoenix (1-4) at the plate, going 3-for-4 with four RBI, while Joe Satterfield drove in two runs and Zach Evers and Liam O’Regan each scored twice.
K-State (2-3) saw starter Caleb Littlejim surrender three runs (two earned) on three hits in 5.1 innings of work. Jared Marolf worked a perfect ninth for his first save.
The Wildcats’ offense was led by Will Brennan who went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI. Drew Mount drove in a trio of runs.
How It Happened: Kansas State built a 5-0 lead through two innings. The Wildcats got one in the first on a Mount ground out before pushing across four in the second. After a RBI fielder’s choice from Brett Owen and RBI single from Brennan, both would score on a Mount single to right field.
Elon got on the board in the last of the fourth when Satterfield ended up at third thanks to a throwing error to begin the inning. Ogren then drove him in with a single to center.
After the Wildcats pushed the lead to 7-1 with single runs in the fifth and sixth frames, Elon tried to rally. In the bottom of the sixth, the Phoenix scored twice to cut it to 7-3. With runners on second and third with no outs, Satterfield made it 7-2 with a ground out before Ogren drove in his second run with a single to right.
K-State got one back in the seventh on a Rainer Ausmus homer before the Phoenix cut it to a one-run game in its half of the inning. After the first hitter of the inning was retired, four straight Elon hitters drew walks, the last to Evers to force home a run. Satterfield drove in one more with a single to center before Ogren’s single to right plated a pair to make it an 8-7 contest. From there, the Wildcats escaped further damage with an infield fly and a strikeout.
Over the final two innings, Elon would go in order as the Phoenix suffered its third one-run defeat of the year.
Notes: Elon’s first five games have been decided by a combined six runs… Freshman catcher Matt Oldham recorded the first hit of his career, a third-inning single… Ryan Conroy struck out three hitters in 2.0 innings to eclipse the 100 K mark for his career.
On Deck: The Phoenix will continue its nine-game homestand by welcoming in the Marshall Thundering Herd for a three-game series this weekend. The set begins with a 4 p.m. first pitch on Friday, Feb. 23.