ELON, N.C. – The Elon University baseball program opens its 2019 season this weekend as the Phoenix host Lafayette for a three-game series at Latham Park. Opening Day is scheduled for a 4 p.m. first pitch on Friday, Feb. 16. The teams then meet again at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, before closing out the series this Sunday, Feb. 17, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at elonphoenix.com or by calling 336-278-6750.
Elon Lafayette Jr. RH Kyle Brnovich (8-2, 1.71) So. LH JP Woodward (0-1, 4.78) Jr. RH George Kirby (10-3, 2.89) Jr. LH Mark Anderson (2-4, 7.93) R-Jr. RH Mason Daniels (1-2, 7.16) Jr. LH Brett Kreyer (2-7. 5.04)
Elon and Lafayette have only met twice before, with both programs earning a victory. The Leopards took the first-ever meeting 5-3 in 1911, while the Phoenix evened the series with a 5-2 decision two years later in 1913.
Last season, the Leopards finished 16-34-1 overall and were sixth in the Patriot League at 4-20-1. As a team, LC hit .242 on the year with 238 runs and 403 hits. The maroon and white tallied 71 doubles, 17 triples, and 29 home runs. Leading the returners at the plate is junior Trey Durrah, who was second on the team in 2018 with a .306 average. He tallied 41 hits with 23 runs, nine doubles, four home runs, 27 RBIs, and 14 walks.
On the bump, JP Woodward went 0-1 with a 4.78 ERA. Through 17 appearances and 26.1 innings pitched, he gave up 25 hits and allowed 15 runs (14 earned) with 26 strikeouts. The left-hander is expected to be the Opening Day starter for the visitors.
HEAD COACH MIKE KENNEDY
The 2019 season marks the 23rd at his alma mater for head coach Mike Kennedy (’91), who is the winningest coach in program history. He has compiled a career record of 714-547-3 (.566) and has led his program to five regular season titles, three conference tournament championships and seven NCAA postseason appearances.
Announced last Thursday, Feb. 7, the league’s coaches selected Elon as the preseason favorite to win this year’s CAA title. A close vote at the top, the Phoenix edged both UNCW and Northeastern for No. 1 position after receiving four first-place votes and 57 total points. Additionally, junior Kyle Brnovich was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year, the first for the Phoenix since infielder Casey Jones earned the distinction in 2015. Also earning recognition were juniors Joe Satterfield, Garrett Stonehouse, and George Kirby, who were selected as honorable mentions.
1. Elon (4) – 57
T2. UNCW (1) – 54
T2. Northeastern (4) – 54
4. Charleston – 47
5. Delaware – 34
6. James Madison – 32
7. William & Mary – 19
8. Hofstra – 14
9. Towson – 13
In its 115 baseball seasons, Elon has gone 66-49 (with one unknown result) in season openers. Under Mike Kennedy, the maroon and gold has gone 13-10 in its first game of the season.
Under skipper Mike Kennedy, Elon has posted a record of 15-8 in home openers. The team lost a close game 2-1 to Penn State to start the 2018 season.
CLOSING IT OUT
Since 2007, Elon has been very good at closing out games. The Phoenix has gone a combined 325-26 when leading after seven innings and 349-21 when holding a lead following the eighth inning.
Elon will continue its homestand next Tuesday, Feb. 19, against NC State. The Phoenix and Wolfpack are scheduled for a 4 p.m. tilt at Latham Park. The maroon and gold then plays its first road game of the season the following day, Feb. 20, in a 4 p.m. game at North Carolina A&T.