Monarchs Host Hofstra In Three-Game CAA Series

April 16, 2009
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 16, 2009

NORFOLK, VA-- ODU returns home to face the Hofstra Pride this weekend after finishing a stretch where 12 of their last 13 games have been on the road. The series begins Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. The two teams will also meet on Saturday at 4 p.m. and conclude Sunday at 2 p.m. The Monarchs will play 12 of their final 16 regular season contests in Norfolk. ODU will also return home to find a brand new scoreboard erected in right center field.

The Pride (6-21, 2-10) dropped two out of three to Delaware at home last weekend. Hofstra has struggled to gain consistency this year, losing their first nine contests of the season and have yet to win a CAA series. The Pride leads the CAA in ERA (10.42). Senior Mark Stuckless leads the Pride in batting average (.383) and has 41 hits, 2 HR, 11 RBI and 7 stolen bases. Junior Matt Prokopowicz has also been big for Hofstra adding 1 HR, 20 RBI (team leader), and batting .353. Sophomore Jeff Guthridge is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 13 appearances (22 innings pitched), recording 2 saves and striking out 17.

The Monarchs (11-19, 5-7) dropped a heartbreaking series to Georgia State over the weekend in Atlanta. In game one, GSU rallied in the bottom of the eighth to down ODU 3-2. On Saturday, ODU scored five runs in the top of the ninth off the Panthers closer to take the lead, but could not hold it in the bottom of the inning as GSU hit a walk-off grand slam to down the Monarchs 14-13. On Sunday, ODU was finally able to break through with a 2-1 victory behind the strong pitching of freshman Ben Tomchick and the clutch RBI single by Edgar Hernandez in the top of the ninth inning.

ODU split a pair of midweek games on the road. On Tuesday at Liberty, the Monarchs prevailed 7-2 behind the strong pitching of Chris Boggs, who pitched into the ninth inning and a three run blast by Jake McAloose. On Wednesday, Elon scored two runs in the bottom of the eights to squeak past ODU 5-4.

Jake McAloose leads the team with a .371 batting average scoring 24 runs along with 3 HR and 18 RBI. Donnie Corsner has knocked in 25 RBI with 5 HR, 10 doubles and a .314 batting average. Freshman Ben Tomchick (2-3) is second in the CAA with a 2.80 ERA. He has also recorded 39 strikeouts in 54-plus innings of work for the Monarchs. ODU leads the CAA in fewest number of errors with 32.

ODU leads the all-time series 9-7. Last season, the Pride took two of three from the Monarchs in Hempstead, N.Y.

Probable Starters Game One: RHP Brett Harris (3-3, 4.47) Harris pitched well in Atlanta on Friday, scattering six hits, two runs, two walks and three strikeouts in seven innings. He received a no-decision after the Panthers rallied in bottom of the eighth against the bullpen. The freshman has thrown two complete games on the season.

LHP Brody Fontaine (0-6, 11.22) Fontaine was shelled by Delaware last Friday giving up 13 runs (12 earned) on 10 hits, walking three, and striking out two in 2 2/3 innings.

Game Two: RHP Brady Burchill (2-2, 6.00) Burchill was knocked around by GSU on Saturday after winning his previous two decisions. He gave up 12 hits, seven runs, three walks and recorded three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision.

RHP Rob Kumbatovic (3-4, 6.85) Kumbatovic earned his third victory of the season on Sunday against Delaware. He scattered eight hits over five innings giving up four runs and striking out four.

Game Three: RHP Ben Tomchick (2-3, 2.80) Tomchick continues to shine for ODU this season. He pitched seven innings on Sunday, scattering three hits, one run, four walks and striking out six in a no-decision. The freshman leads the team in ERA and is second in the CAA.

RHP Kevin Rigopolous (1-1, 12.31) Rigopolous will make his second start of the year on Sunday. He has 13 appearances and was used in relief last weekend. In 2 2/3 innings, he gave up nine hits, nine runs, three walks and five strikeouts.

CAA Standings George Mason 9-3 Georgia State 6-3 Delaware 7-5 UNC Wilmington 7-5 Northeastern 5-4 VCU 5-4 JMU 6-6 Towson 4-5 ODU 5-7 William & Mary 4-8 Hofstra 2-10