ELON, N.C. – The Elon University baseball team moved closer to securing a top-two seed in next week’s CAA Tournament by racing out to a big lead and defeating the visiting William & Mary Tribe by a 17-4 margin in game two of a three-game league series at Latham Park on Friday morning.
The win was the sixth in a row for Elon as the Phoenix improved to 34-21 overall and 15-8 in CAA action. The Tribe dropped to 15-38, 3-20 on the year.
George Kirby (10-2) earned the win to become the first Elon pitcher to win 10 games in a season since Jimmy Reyes did so in 2010. Kirby allowed three runs on eight hits over 6.0 innings. He struck out six.
Elon’s offense was powered by James Venuto who had a career-high four hits. Venuto doubled and homered while driving in three and scoring three times. Joe Satterfield also homered as he drove in four in a 2-for-5 day. Both Zach Evers and Josh Broughton had three hits and swiped three bases.
Tribe starter Wade Strain (2-5) was saddled with the loss after he gave up nine runs (eight earned) on seven hits in just 2.0 innings.
Ryan Hall homered and was 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead William & Mary.
How It Happened: Elon raced out to a 9-0 lead after two innings. The Phoenix scored five times in the first. With the bases loaded, Satterfield ripped a two-RBI double to left-center to drive home the first two. A Cam Devanney sacrifice fly and a Venuto double accounted for the next two. The final marker came on a Ty Adcock ground out. The following inning, the maroon and gold saw one score on an error and another on a wild pitch, while Devanney and Venuto delivered RBI singles.
William & Mary loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the fifth before back-to-back groundouts plated runs. The Tribe would score one more in the frame on a Hunter Smith single.
The Phoenix offense erupted for six runs in the bottom of the sixth, the first two coming on a Satterfield homer to left-center. The final four all came with two down as Broughton had an RBI single and Garrett Stonehouse doubled home two. An error accounted for the other run in the inning.
After Elon tacked on one in the seventh on Venuto’s team-leading fifth homer of the year, both sides scored once in the eighth. William & Mary’s final marker came on Hall’s leadoff homer, while the Phoenix scored its last tally on a Jack Roberts sacrifice fly.
Notes: Elon’s 17 runs scored were the most by the team in a CAA game since joining the league… Kirby is one win shy of matching Gary Henson and Chris Cole for the program record for wins in a season… With the two wins over the Tribe this week, Elon has claimed its first series win against William & Mary since joining the league… With a win in the series finale, Elon would clinch the number two seed in the CAA Tournament that begins on Wednesday, May 23, in Harrisonburg, Va.
On Deck: Elon and William & Mary will wrap up the series at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 19.