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Opponent Preview: Elon

Meet the Phoenix... [loud bird noises]

Indiana State v Elon Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: Elon

Mascot: Burnt Bird | School Location: Elon, NC | Conference: Colonial

2023 Record: 9-7 (2-1, T-1st) | 2023 RPI Rank: 70

2022 Record: 27-28 (9-14, 7th) | 2022 RPI Rank: 149

2021 Record: 22-22 (10-8, 2nd South) | 2021 RPI Rank: 124

When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)

Game Time(s): Tues, Mar 14 @ 2:00pm

TV: Tuesday (ACCNX)

Radio: The Varsity Network (Tuesday)

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats

Tell me about this team

Elon has been a consistently strong program under Mike Kennedy, and while this year’s team doesn’t look like one of the best from his heyday (the Phoenix made six NCAA Regionals from 2002-2013), this potentially looks like their best team since 2019. They started off the year on the road at Kentucky where the offense sputtered but the pitching was strong in losing the series 1-2, and they’ve played midweek tilts against UNCG (x2) and ECU (all losses), so the team had at least been tested heading into conference play. The opener to conference play went about as well as could be hoped, taking 2-of-3 from Northeastern at home, including two one-run wins.

The offense isn’t going to knock your socks off. They have some solid hitters and some not-so-solid hitters, but it’s a lineup without a true identity. They’re not a speedy group, or a power-hitting group, and they’re not going to play small-ball and hope for a 2-1 win every time out. It’s just, uhh... it’s just a lineup.

That lineup, though, doesn’t need to do a lot because the pitching has been great. Shea Sprague, Ryan Sprock, and Justin Mitrovich form a weekend rotation that’s going to give CAA teams fits. Add to that a bullpen with two high-end arms (Joe Savino, Ben Simon) and a some other contributors who are capable of more than just eating innings and you’ll see why this team could make some noise this year in the Colonial.

Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Tuesday: LHP Cole Reynolds (JR)

Key Players:


LF/RF Charlie Granatell (SO) - .293/.295/.345, 1.6 BB%, 13.1 K%, 0-0 SB. Exceptional bat-to-ball skills, but dude has just all but stopped walking this year, which is strange. Tough out either way, and there’s far more pop in the bat than what he’s shown this year.

DH/LF/3B Connor Offshack (JR) - .308/.372/.615, 2.3 BB%, 18.6 K%, 0-0 SB. Career back-up to this point is swinging a hot bat right now with five multi-hit games this year.

CF Justin Cassella (JR) - .314/.351/.457, 5.4 BB%, 24.3 K%, 4-5 SB. Having a rebound year, showing more what he showed back in 2021 than his down 2022 season. Had a 7-game hitting streak snapped in the season finale against Northeastern last weekend.


LHP Cole Reynolds (JR) - 1-1, 3.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 6.1 BB%, 15.2 K%. Delaware native pulls double duty as the team’s weekend starting first baseman in addition to being the midweek starter. Not a strikeout guy, but pounds the zone. Has gone exactly 5.0 innings in each of his three starts, including against UNCG and ECU the last two times out.

RHP Joe Savino (rJR) - 1-0, 0 SV, 2.57 ERA, 14.0 IP, 6.5 BB%, 38.7 K%. He’s shifted back-and-forth between being a starter and reliever, but was phenomenal in the Cape Cod league last year as a pure reliever and is being used in that role this year. Having an All-CAA type of year right now. High 80’s/low 90’s heater as part of a three-pitch mix.

RHP Spencer Bauer (rJR) - 0-0, 0 SV, 0.00 ERA, 9.2 IP, 5.1 BB%, 28.2 K%. Has already exceeded his inning total from last year, but tossed 45.1 innings over his first two years with Elon. Has been having a great year, but a .167 BABIP says he’s been riding some great luck, too.

RHP Ben Simon (JR) - 1-1, 3 SV, 5.40 ERA, 6.2 IP, 9.7 BB%, 41.9 K%. A 2nd Team All-CAA selection last year, the team’s closer has had two bad outings this year (2.0 IP, 4 ER), but has been lights out in the other four outings (4.2 IP, 0 ER, 9 K).

Quick! Fun Facts!

Elon only has six players from the state of North Carolina on their roster. They have 11 from New Jersey. That’s shocking for a team right in the heart of some of the best high school baseball in the country.

The Phoenix had two alums reach the majors last year (RHP John Brebbia, San Fran; RHP George Kirby, Seattle).

Former Elon RHP Dick Such played for the Washington Senators in 1970.

Mike Kennedy is Elon’s all-time winningest coach with 812 victories, which puts him 615 wins ahead of the 2nd place coach (Bob McBee, 197 wins).


Elon is a team that hung with ECU last Wednesday before the Pirates pulled away late and UNCG needed a 6-run 9th to top them 8 days before that. This is a pesky group that won’t go down quietly.

Outcome: State pulls away slowly for the victory.