Elon Baseball Closes Non-League Slate at UNCG

ELON, N.C. – The Elon University baseball team will hit the road for one final regular season road game, as the Phoenix visits Triad rival UNCG for a 6 p.m. contest on Tuesday, May 15.

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 – Fr. RH Daniel Albrittain (0-0, 2.08)
UNCG – So. RH Jake Mayhew (1-1, 6.12)

The 55th all-time meeting between Elon and UNCG will take place on Tuesday. The Phoenix currently holds a 35-19 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. UNCG won the earlier game at Elon this season by a 7-5 margin.

UNCG clinched the 2018 Southern Conference title after sweeping The Citadel over the weekend. The Spartans enter Tuesday’s tilt at 37-12 overall and 18-3 in SoCon play.

UNCG sports a team .327 batting average and has scored 355 runs (7.2 per game). The Spartans have 87 doubles, 29 triples and 34 home runs on the year. Also a threat on the bases, UNCG has stolen 84 bags in 106 tries. Andrew Moritz leads the team with a .427 batting average, 10 triples and 55 RBI.

The Spartan pitching staff has a 3.87 ERA and has surrendered 218 runs (4.4 per game) over 441.1 innings of work. The staff has struck out 482 hitters and issued 181 walks. Opponents are hitting UNCG pitching at a .247 clip.

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 709-545-3 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.

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 13)
Mike Martin, Florida State 1,981
John Anderson, Minnesota 1,278
Bill Brown, George Mason 1,020
Gary Gilmore, Coastal Carolina 920
Mark Scalf, UNCW 901
Mike Fox, North Carolina 880
Mike Kennedy, Elon 709
Dave Van Horn, Arkansas 631
Dick Cooke, Davidson 589
Jim Sherman, Delaware 537
Todd Asalon, Northern Kentucky 532
Jim Penders, UConn 518
Craig Gibson, Mercer 504
Steve Jaska, Central Michigan 500

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.

Through 52 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 523 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 583 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 141 consecutive games dating back to his freshman campaign. Ogren has started all 52 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.

For the second time this season, Elon junior shortstop Ryne Ogren has been selected as the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week. The league announced its weekly award winners on Monday, May 14.

Ogren hit .583 (7-for-12) with three doubles, five runs scored and eight RBI in Elon’s 3-1 week. In the Phoenix’s three-game sweep of Towson, Ogren reached base in 10 of his 13 plate appearances, gong 5-for-8 with five walks. Ogren drove in multiple runs in three of the four games last week and recorded the 200th hit of his career in Friday’s victory over the Tigers.

Elon will close out the regular season with three key CAA games this week as the Phoenix will host William & Mary. The series will get underway at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 17.