ELON — The Elon baseball team has plenty to play for in the final series of the regular season and it sure looked that way Thursday afternoon.

Riding another strong pitching performance from right-hander Kyle Brnovich, the Phoenix thrived at the beginning of this latest quest by defeating William & Mary 6-2 to open the Colonial Athletic Association series at Latham Park.

“We’re focused on ourselves and if we focus on ourselves (good things can happen),” shortstop Ryne Ogren said. “And there’s also a goal to have a 35-plus win season because we haven’t had that in a while.”

An Elon series sweep could send the Phoenix (33-21 overall, 14-8 CAA) into position for a bye in next week’s CAA Tournament at Harrisonburg, Va. Second place is within reach if College of Charleston drops at least one game at UNC Wilmington.

“We’re trying to somehow fight for that ‘2’ seed if we can get it,” coach Mike Kennedy said.

This latest outcome gives Elon its most conference victories in four years of membership in the CAA. It’s an ideal situation to have reasonable goals.

“I think our guys sense that,” Kennedy said. “But at the same time, you want them to have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. … Our job was to be focused and I thought (we were). We did some really good things.”

Elon has never been a top-two seed in the CAA.

“We have a serious shot at winning this thing,” Brnovich said.

Brnovich, who’s among the country’s strikeout leaders, fanned nine in eight innings while giving up three hits. He has gone 21 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.

“We got a great outing out of him,” Kennedy said.

Brnovich (8-2) didn’t allow multiple base runners in an inning until the eighth, when the first three batters reached (one on an error). His first walk forced in a run with one out.

“He keeps it to a run,” Kennedy said. “It doesn’t take long to get away from you. But he buckled down when he had to.”

Earlier Thursday, it was announced that Brnovich has been selected for this summer’s USA Baseball collegiate national team.

“It was one of my goals at the beginning of the year,” he said of the selection. “It kept me going all season. A lot of it comes with the opportunity from pitching here.”

Gavin Hellman and Robbie Welhaf pitched the ninth for Elon, which holds a five-game winning streak.

The Phoenix scored in four different innings. Ogren, Zach Evers, Joe Satterfield and Ty Adcock all had two hits, while Josh Broughton scored twice.

Elon opened the scoring in the third inning on Garrett Stonehouse’s sacrifice fly.

Ogren’s one-out single on a full-count pitch in the fifth made it 2-0. Satterfield added a two-out RBI single.

Evers’ single in the sixth made it 4-0 before another RBI single from Stonehouse.

The Tribe was denied in the third inning when a one-out attempted suicide squeeze went awry. Again in the fifth, the Tribe had a runner at third with one out after an error but didn’t convert.

Colin Lipke and Owen Socher each had two hits for last-place William & Mary (15-37, 3-19), which has a 14-game losing streak.

The game time was moved up 5½ hours because of concerns about the evening forecast. One of the three umpires didn’t take the field until after the first batter of the bottom of the first inning.