ELON, N.C. – Riding a five-game winning streak, the Elon University baseball team will play host to the Hartford Hawks in a three-game, non-conference series beginning on Friday, April 20, at Latham Park. The series opener is set for 6 p.m. and will serve as the kickoff to the program’s annual Alumni Weekend. The series will continue at 4 p.m. on Saturday and conclude with a 1:30 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.
Latham Park gates open 60 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
The Elon University baseball team will welcome back former players for an Alumni Weekend when the Phoenix takes on Hartford in a three-game series April 20-22, at Latham Park. Over the course of the weekend, the teams from 2006, 2008 and 2009 teams will be recognized, however, Alumni Weekend is open to all former Elon players from any era. For more information, or to register for the weekend, click HERE.
Elon – So. RH Kyle Brnovich (4-1, 1.48)
Hartford – Jr. RH Billy DeVito (0-3, 6.68)
Elon – So. RH George Kirby (6-1, 2.40)
Hartford – Fr. LH Nicholas Dombkowski (3-4, 3.21)
Elon – Jr. RH Ryan Conroy (1-3, 3.02)
Hartford – So. RH Nathan Florence (1-4, 3.92)
This will be the first time that Elon and Hartford have met on the baseball diamond.
Hartford enters the weekend with a 14-20 overall record and a league-best 8-4 record in America East play. The Hawks split a pair of midweek games, defeating Sacred Heart and falling to Rhode Island, and swept a conference series from Binghamton last weekend.
The Hartford offense is paced by Nick Campana who leads the team with a .413 batting average, 26 runs scored, 13 doubles and 15 stolen bases. Asthon Bardzell tops the squad in power as he has hit six home runs and driven in 24 runs. As a team, the Hawks enter the weekend with a .271 batting average and have scored 156 runs (4.6 per game). The offense has posted 53 doubles, nine triples and 18 homers, while being successful on 51-of-64 stolen base attempts.
On the mound, the Hawks have pitched to a 5.22 ERA and opponents have posted a .276 batting average. Hartford has allowed 201 runs (5.9 per game) and has struck out 244 hitters over 286.0 innings. Sunday starter Nathan Florence has a team-high 46 strikeouts in 41.1 innings.
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 700-540-3 and has led his program to five regular season titles, three conference tournament championships and seven NCAA postseason appearances. Kennedy earned his 700th career win on April 18 as Elon defeated North Carolina A&T by a 5-4 score.
BRNOVICH ON GOLDEN SPIKES WATCH LIST
Sophomore pitcher Kyle Brnovich has been selected to the 2018 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award midseason watch list. The award is presented annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. Presented in partnership with the Rod Dedeaux Foundation, the 41st Golden Spikes Award will be presented on June 28 in Los Angeles.
The midseason watch list features 40 of the nation’s top amateur players from the college ranks. The Golden Spikes Award Advisory Board will continue to maintain a rolling list of athletes, allowing players to play themselves into consideration for the award before announcing the semifinalists on May 21.
RACKING UP THE K’S
Through the first 38 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, 10 vs. Appalachian State and 13 vs. Hofstra), Robbie Welhaf (12 in a relief outing against Radford) and Kyle Brnovich (11 vs. Marshall, 12 vs. Appalachian State, 13 vs. Rider, 14 vs. Charleston, 10 at Northeastern and 12 vs. Hofstra) have all accomplished the feat.
As a staff on the year, the Phoenix has recorded 408 strikeouts on the year, an average of 10.7 per game. Last year, Elon set a new program record with 491. The maroon and gold is on pace to notch 601 strikeouts this season.
PHOENIX AMONG BEST IN BALANCING POWER
This season, Elon has hit 23 home runs. A total of 13 different players have gone deep for the Phoenix. Below is a list of team’s with the most players who have homered this year (through April 17).
15 – Tennessee Tech
13 – Elon, Mercer
12 – Arkansas, Clemson, FAU, South Carolina, Vanderbilt
11 – Davidson, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Wichita State
10 – Florida, NC State, Ohio, Western Kentucky, N.C. A&T
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 127 consecutive games dating back to his freshman campaign. Ogren has started all 38 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.
Elon’s first seven games of the season were decided by a combined eight runs. The Phoenix played four one-run games in its first five outings. The last time that Elon had four one-run decisions in its first five games of the season was 1934. That year, the team opened with four consecutive one-run contests.
On the year, Elon has played in 14 one-run games, going 7-7, and an additional eight two-run contests.
In an 11-1 victory over Campbell, the Phoenix hitters did not record one strikeout. It marked the first time since March 20, 2013 in a 12-11 victory over Princeton that Elon hitters did not strike out at all in a game.
Elon pitchers have recorded 11 or more strikeouts in each of the last five games (17, 15 and 15 against Hofstra, 11 vs. Campbell and 11 vs. North Carolina A&T). The last time that Elon pitchers put together a streak of five consecutive games with at least 10 strikeouts came in late April through Early May of 2009. That stretch saw the Phoenix record 10 K’s against East Carolina, 12 vs. N.C. A&T and 25 (18 innings), 12 and 10 against Wofford.
After this weekend series with Hartford, Elon will close out its 10-game homestand by hosting the High Point Panthers for a 6 p.m. game on Tuesday, April 24.