Elon Baseball to Open CAA Play at James Madison

ELON, N.C. – For the first time in its four years as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, the Elon University baseball team will open conference play on the road as the Phoenix begins league action at James Madison this weekend. Due to potential weather, the Phoenix and Dukes are scheduled to play three games beginning with a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, March 23. The series will wrap up with a 2:30 p.m. game on Sunday.

Fans can follow the action from all three games with live stats, while JMU’s Madizone will have a video stream of Friday’s game one action.

Friday (1)
Elon: So. RH Kyle Brnovich (3-0, 1.34)
JMU: Sr. LH Colton Harlow (2-1, 2.70)

Friday (2)
Elon: So. RH George Kirby (3-1, 1.50)
JMU: So. RH Kevin Kelly (1-1, 3.48)

Elon: Jr. RH Ryan Conroy (0-2, 2.70)
JMU: Fr. RH Nick Stewart (2-1, 2.92)

Elon leads the all-time series with James Madison by a 9-2 margin. Since joining the CAA for the 2015 season, the Phoenix is 8-1 against the Dukes. The two first met for a pair of games in 1977.

James Madison enters the weekend with a 12-8 overall record after winning two of its three games with UMass Lowell last weekend. The Dukes were selected to finish seventh in the CAA in the league’s preseason poll.

As a team, JMU is hitting .263 with 118 runs (5.9 per game), 31 doubles, five triples and 19 home runs. Josh Jones’ .356 average paces the squad, while Adam Sisk leads the team with 20 runs scored, two triples, four homers and 17 RBI.

On the mound, the Dukes have posted a 3.61 ERA and have struck out 158 hitters in 179.1 innings. Opponents are hitting .239 off of JMU pitching.

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 689-534-3 and has led his program to five regular season titles, three conference tournament championships and seven NCAA postseason appearances.

In the 19 seasons in which Elon has been a member of a conference under head coach Mike Kennedy, the maroon and gold has gone 14-5 in league openers. The Phoenix is 1-2 in CAA openers. Elon also went 10-1 in SoCon openers, 2-2 in Big South openers and 1-0 in South Atlantic openers under Kennedy.

Through the first 21 games of the season, the Elon pitching staff has put up some impressive strikeout totals. Three pitchers have eclipsed the 10-K mark in individual outings as sophomore George Kirby (11 Ks on opening day,11 at Georgia Southern and 10 vs. Appalachian State), Robbie Welhaf (12 in a relief outing against Radford) and Kyle Brnovich (11 vs. Marshall, 12 vs. Appalachian State and 13 vs. Rider) have all accomplished the feat.

As a staff on the year, the Phoenix has recorded 232 strikeouts on the year, an average of 11.0 per game.

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 110 consecutive games dating back to his freshman campaign. Ogren has started all 21 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.

Sophomore Garrett Stonehouse picked up the first CAA Player of the Week honor of his career on March 19 after hitting .583 (7-for-12) with three doubles, a homer, six runs scored and nine RBI in Elon’s sweep of Rider. He went a career-best 5-for-6 with two doubles, a homer (the first of his career), five RBI and four runs scored in Saturday’s victory and followed by going 2-for-4 and driving in three on Sunday.

Elon had a recent stretch in which the pitching staff allowed two or fewer runs in six consecutive games. That was the longest such stretch for the program since 1974 when the maroon and gold also went six straight games holding opponents to two runs or less. This streak is tied for the second-longest in program history.

1955 – 11 games
1954 – 6 games
1964 – 6 games
1974 – 6 games
2018 – 6 games

Elon will wrap up a brief four-game road swing with a Tuesday game at Wake Forest. Game time in Winston-Salem, N.C. is scheduled for 6 p.m.