ELON, N.C. – As the 2018 baseball season heads towards the conclusion of the regular season, every conference game is important. This weekend the Elon University baseball program will play a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series against the Towson Tigers at Latham Park and look to climb the league standings. The Phoenix and Tigers are set to open the set with a 6 p.m. contest on Friday, May 11. Game two is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, while the final game of the series is set for 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Fans can watch all three games for free on Phoenix All-Access or listen to the contests on WSJS 104.5 FM / 1200 AM (Friday and Sunday) and WPCM 95.1 FM / 920 AM (Saturday) as Taylor Durham will provide all the play-by-play action. The pregame show begins 15 minutes prior to first pitch. The radio broadcasts can also be heard at elonphoenix.com and on the TuneIn app.
ELON INTRODUCES HAMMOCK SEATING
As the 2018 season enters the home stretch and the weather begins to warm up, the Elon Department of Athletics has announced a partnership with Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) to launch the nation’s first hammock seating experience at Latham Park. Baseball fans will now have the opportunity to relax at an Elon baseball game inside an ENO hammock down the third base side nestled in the trees.
ELON VS. CANCER
For the seventh straight year, the Elon University baseball team will join forces with much of the collegiate baseball family to help raise money to fight childhood cancer. This season, the Phoenix will partner with the Vs. Cancer Foundation to hold a head-shaving event following its 6 p.m. game with William & Mary on Thursday, May 17.
Players and coaches on the baseball roster will shave their heads in support of this important cause. Over the last five years, Elon’s head-shaving events raised over $141,000 that went toward fighting childhood cancer. Last year’s event raised over $18,000.
For more information, or to donate towards Elon’s total, visit www.elonphoenix.com/vscancer.
Elon – So. RH Kyle Brnovich (6-2, 1.99)
Towson – Sr. LH David Marriggi (3-6, 5.00)
Elon – So. RH George Kirby (8-2, 2.14)
Towson – Sr. RH Michael Adams (3-6, 5.78)
Elon – Jr. RH Ryan Conroy (3-3, 2.51)
Towson – Jr. RH Alex Cuas (1-4, 6.10)
Elon and Towson have met 15 times prior to this weekend’s series. The Phoenix holds a 12-3 advantage in the all-time series and has won seven of the nine meetings since joining the CAA. Last year, Towson took the series opener in Maryland by an 11-10 margin before Elon bounced back with 5-4 and 8-1 victories to claim the series win.
Towson treks to North Carolina with a 13-36 overall record and a 6-12 mark in CAA play. Last weekend, the Tigers won one of its three league games against College of Charleston.
The offense is paced by Richie Palacios who leads the team in average (.316), runs (51), hits (56), doubles (18), home runs (8), RBI (30) and stolen bases (23). As a team, Towson is hitting .234 and has scored 233 runs (4.8 per game) in 49 games. The Tigers have 76 doubles, four triples, 25 homers and are 52-for-59 in stolen bases.
On the mound, Towson enters the weekend with a 7.06 ERA and has allowed 386 runs (7.9 per game). The staff has struck out 343 hitters and walked 294 batters over 416.2 innings of work. Saturday starter Michael Adams leads the team with 72 strikeouts.
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 706-545-3 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.
COACHES WINNING AT ALMA MATER
Elon skipper Mike Kennedy recently earned his 700th career win, all of which have come at his alma mater. The 1991 grad is in select company for coaches who have racked up victories at their alma maters.
Active Head Coaches W/500 Wins at Alma Mater (thru May 9)
Mike Martin, Florida State 1,977
John Anderson, Minnesota 1,276
Bill Brown, George Mason 1,018
Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina 917
Mark Scalf, UNCW 899
Mike Fox, North Carolina 879
Mike Kennedy, Elon 706
Dave Van Horn, Arkansas 628
Dick Cooke, Davidson 589
Jim Sherman, Delaware 534
Todd Asalon, Northern Kentucky 531
Jim Penders, UConn 517
Craig Gibson, Mercer 501
BRNOVICH, OGREN ON NATIONAL WATCH LISTS
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.
Brnovich is also on the watch list for the College Baseball Foundation’s Pitcher of the Year Award. The award highlights 78 of the top arms in the country that includes both perennial powers and up-and-coming teams. The award, sponsored by Diamond, will be presented later this summer by the College Baseball Foundation.
Junior infielder Ryne Ogren was named to the watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award, which is sponsored by Mizuno and honors the nation’s top shortstop and will be presented this summer by the College Baseball Foundation. There are 53 players on the list.
RACKING UP THE K’S & BREAKING RECORDS
Through 49 games this 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, 12 vs. Hofstra, 14 vs. Hartford and 10 at Delaware) have all accomplished the feat.
As a staff on the year, the Phoenix has recorded 496 strikeouts on the year, an average of 10.1 per game, surpassing the previous program record for K’s in a season. The previous mark of 491 was set last year. The maroon and gold is on pace to notch at least 566 strikeouts this season.
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 138 consecutive games dating back to his freshman campaign. Ogren has started all 49 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 18 one-run games, going 8-10, and an additional nine two-run contests.
PROGRAM’S SINGLE-SEASON STRIKEOUT RECORD FALLS
With three strikeouts at UNCW, sophomore Kyle Brnovich set a new Elon single-season record for K’s with 114. He surpassed the mark of 113 set by Ronnie Johnson in the 1977 campaign.
Before Brnovich set the new mark, the top two spots were both established over 40 years ago. The number two position had been held by Bunn Hearn with 108 in 1910.
Following the series with Towson, Elon will enter the final week of regular season action. On Tuesday, May 15, the Phoenix will play at UNCG at 6 p.m. The regular season will then conclude at Latham Park with a three-game conference series against William & Mary.