ELON, N.C. – Three Elon pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts and to issue just one walk, while the offense scored a season-high 13 runs on 12 hits as the Elon University baseball team opened a three-game series against the Rider Broncs with a 13-2 rout at Latham Park on Friday afternoon.
On the mound, starter Kyle Brnovich (3-0) struck out a season-high 13 hitters, his third 11-plus strikeout performance this season, and scattered four hits while allowing two runs (one earned) in 7.0 innings.
The Elon (9-9) offense saw the Phoenix hit a pair of homers – a three-run shot by Joe Satterfield and a solo blast from Mike Borucki – in the win. Zach Evers went 3-for-4 and scored three times, while Matt Oldham drove in two runs.
For Rider (5-12), the loss went to starter Joe Papeo (1-3) who was roughed up for 10 runs (seven earned) on 10 hits in 6.0 innings.
The Broncs recorded six hits, including a pair from Jake Barbiere. Jake Bender homered for one of the two runs.
How It Happened: It did not take long for the Phoenix to grab the lead. Zach Evers led off the last of the first with a double into the left field corner and scored on Oldham’s single to right. Elon would load the bases after a Ryne Ogren single and a one-out hit-by-pitch before Garrett Stonehouse picked up an RBI on a fielder’s choice. With two down and runners at the corners, Satterfield made it a 5-0 contest by turning on a 1-1 pitch and launching it over the tall wall in left for his first homer of the season.
Rider chipped away, scoring one run in each of the next two innings to trim its deficit to 5-2. In the second, an Elon error extended the inning and allowed a run to score. Bender would then lead off the third with a solo homer to left, his first of the year.
After the Phoenix got a trio of unearned runs in the fourth to extend the lead to 8-2, the maroon and gold put up single markers in the fifth and sixth. Elon loaded the bases to open the seventh before a pair of sacrifice flies from Ty Adcock and Peter Perkins made it a 12-2 affair. Elon’s final tally was put up in the eighth when Borucki sent a 2-1 pitch off the scoreboard in left-center for the first homer of his career.
Elon pitchers cruised for much of the game. After a leadoff single in the fourth, the Phoenix promptly retired the next 13 hitters before a two-out single in the eighth inning. At one point, Brnovich struck out five consecutive Rider hitters and eight-of-nine that he faced.
Notes: Elon scored five or more runs in an inning for the first time this season… In 19 career starts, Brnovich has now struck out 10 or more in five of them and nine-plus in eight… Brnovich surpassed the 150-strikeout mark for his career and now has 155 in just over a season of work… For the 10th time this season, an Elon opponent has struck out at least 10 times.
On Deck: The Phoenix and Broncs are scheduled to play game two of the series on Saturday, March 17. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Latham Park.