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Monarchs Travel To Richmond For Three-Game CAA Series With VCU

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: May 07, 2009
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May 7, 2009

NORFOLK, VA-- ODU returns to action on Friday as they travel to face CAA rival Virginia Commonwealth in Richmond this weekend. The Monarchs currently sit in third place in the CAA standings. The series begins Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Diamond. The two teams will also meet on Saturday at 2 p.m. and conclude Sunday at 1 p.m.

VCU (19-20, 7-11) is coached by Old Dominion alum Paul Keyes ('84), now in his 14th season at the helm for the Rams program. Virginia Commonwealth has lost five straight contests and eight of their last nine games. Last weekend, the Rams were swept in Atlanta by Georgia State. Their midweek game against Richmond was rained out. Joe Van Meter has led the charge for VCU so far this season, with 2 HR, 31 RBI, 12 doubles, scoring 29 runs and a .347 batting average. Andrew Dimino has also been big for the Rams, adding 37 runs, 19 RBI and going 21-for-26 in stolen bases. VCU and ODU are tied for second in the CAA with 70 steals apiece.

The Monarchs (18-22, 10-8) are coming out of an off week for finals. Midweek action against Longwood was rained out on Wednesday. Two weekends ago, ODU took two out of three from William & Mary at home. On Friday night, the Monarchs used another complete game effort from Brett Harris and seven errors committed by the Tribe to win 8-4. On Saturday, William & Mary scored four runs in the top of the ninth spoiling Brady Burchill's excellent performance on the mound to upend ODU 6-5. On Sunday, Chris Buss doubled in two runs in the bottom of the eighth as ODU rallied to down William & Mary 6-4 to take the series.

Freshman first baseman Josh Wright was named the CAA Rookie of the Week last week. He was also named Rookie of the Week back on March 6th. Wright hit .381 with nine RBI last week. He hit a game-winning grand slam homer in the 10th inning against VMI. He also knocked in three runs against Richmond and two RBI against William and Mary. Wright leads ODU with eight homers, and 39 RBI. He has a .547 slugging percentage. Wright has mashed two grand slams this season. The other was at Georgia State.

ODU leads the CAA in fewest number of errors with 37 and in fielding percentage (.975). Jake McAloose leads the team with a .365 batting average scoring 35 runs along with 4 HR and 28 RBI. Junior Chris Boggs leads the CAA in ERA (2.55) and is 5-0 with 37 strikeouts in 42-plus innings of work. Freshman Ben Tomchick (3-3) is second in the CAA with a 2.96 ERA. He has also recorded 51 strikeouts in 70 innings of work for the Monarchs.

ODU leads the all-time series 81-53. Last season, the Rams beat ODU in their only meeting in Norfolk. The other two games of the series were rained out.

CAA Standings
George Mason		17-4
Georgia State		11-7
ODU			10-8
James Madison		11-9
Delaware		8-7
UNC Wilmington		8-7
Towson			9-9
William & Mary		9-11
Northeastern		8-10
VCU			7-11
Hofstra			3-18

Probable Starters

Game One: RHP Brett Harris (5-3, 4.48) Harris threw his CAA leading fourth complete game of the season (and second in a row) two weeks ago. The freshman allowed nine hits, four runs, struck out four and walked no one.

LHP Ian Thomas (4-3, 4.88) Thomas was locked into a pitching duel last Friday for much of the evening. A six run rally by the Panthers in the eighth inning knocked Thomas out of the game however, as he gave up nine hits, eight runs (seven earned), three walks and four strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings pitched in the loss.

Game Two: RHP Brady Burchill (3-2, 4.98) Burchill pitched a gem into the ninth inning two weeks ago, but received a no-decision after the Tribe rallied against the bullpen. Burchill gave up five hits, three runs, four walks and struck out four in eight innings.

RHP Robbie Andrews (1-1, 4.66) Andrews received a no-decision in Atlanta on Saturday. He was pulled in the fourth inning after giving up six hits, five runs, three walks and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings pitched.

Game Three: RHP Ben Tomchick (3-3, 2.96) Tomchick produced another solid outing two weeks ago, but received a no-decision. He gave up five hits, four runs, one walks and struck out six in 7 2/3 innings pitched. Tomchick is second in the CAA in ERA.

RHP Phillip Deane (2-4, 7.90) Deane lasted just 4 2/3 innings on Sunday at Georgia State. He gave up five hits, five runs, three walks and struck out one in the loss.

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