ELON, N.C. – Winners of three of its last four games, the Elon University baseball team returns to Latham Park to play host to the UNCG Spartans in a 4 p.m. contest on Wednesday, March 7.
Tickets can be purchased at elonphoenix.com or by calling 336-278-6750.
Elon: Jr. RH Ryan Conroy (0-1, 2.84)
The 54th all-time meeting between Elon and UNCG will take place on Wednesday afternoon. The Phoenix currently holds a 35-18 advantage in the series that dates to 1991. Elon earned an 11-9 victory in Greensboro, N.C., in that first meeting, while the Spartans earned the win in both meetings a year ago. The Phoenix owns a 15-4 edge in games played at Elon.
UNCG is coming off of a 2017 season in which it advanced to NCAA Regional play and finished with a 36-24 overall record. The Spartans enter Wednesday’s tilt at 7-4 overall after having a four-game winning streak snapped in a 10-7 loss to Marist on Sunday.
UNCG boasts one of the top offenses in the nation as the team’s .342 batting average is eighth nationally. The Spartans have scored 82 runs (7.5 per game) and have 25 doubles, six triples and 10 home runs on the year. Also a threat on the bases, UNCG has stolen 21 bags in 26 tries. Cesar Trejo leads the offense with a .488 average and 14 RBI.
The Spartan pitching staff has a 5.20 ERA and has surrendered 58 runs (5.3 per game) over 97.0 innings of work. The staff has struck out 105 hitters and issued 52 walks. Opponents are hitting UNCG pitching at a .254 clip.
HEAD COACH MIKE KENNEDY
Now in his 22nd season as the head coach at his alma mater, Mike Kennedy (’91) is the winningest coach in program history. He has compiled a career record of 683-531-3 and has led his program to five regular season titles, three conference tournament championships and seven NCAA postseason appearances.
RACKING UP THE K’S
Through the first 12 games of the season, the Elon pitching staff put up some impressive strikeout totals. Three pitchers have eclipsed the 10-K mark in individual outings as sophomore George Kirby struck out 11 hitters on opening day and did so again at Georgia Southern, Robbie Welhaf fanned 12 in a relief outing against Radford and Kyle Brnovich fanned 11 against Marshall.
As a staff on the year, the Phoenix has recorded 133 strikeouts on the year, an average of 11.1 per game.
In Elon’s 4-2 victory at Georgia Southern, George Kirby and Robbie Welhaf combined to strike out 20 Eagle hitters. Kirby matched his career high by fanning 11 over 6.0 innings, while Welhaf recorded all nine of his outs via the strikeout. The duo struck out nine consecutive hitters and 10 of the final 11 batters of the game.
The Elon bullpen has recently been locked in. The Phoenx relievers have not allowed a run over their last 13.2 innings of work. The stretch began with 2.1 scoreless frames against Liberty before an impressive 11.1 scoreless innings in three games at Georgia Southern.
Elon junior shortstop Ryne Ogren has been a mainstay in the Phoenix lineup since his arrival on campus. The Devon, Pa., native has now started 101 consecutive games dating back to his freshman campaign. Ogren has started all 12 games this year, started all 56 games a year ago and started the final 33 contests in 2016. The last time Ogren did not appear in Elon’s starting lineup was March 22, 2016 against High Point.
The Phoenix will be back in action at Latham Park this weekend as Appalachian State comes to town for a three-game series. The set gets started with a 4 p.m. contest on Friday, March 9. All three games of the series will be streamed live through Phoenix All-Access and will be available over the radio on WSJS 104.5 FM and 1200 AM.