Monarchs Split Twinbill At Home Against Rutgers
By ODU Athletics
Feb. 24, 2008
NORFOLK, Va. -- After two days of weather postponement, the Monarchs (1-1) finally were able to take the field and they split a pair against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers (1-1) on Sunday. After struggling to find offense in the first game, the Monarchs piled up eight runs in support of 2007 All-American Anthony Shawler, who fanned 10 in his season debut.
In the first, ODU ace Dan Hudson pitched five innings, striking out three while plating three runs, one earned. Old Dominion struggled at the plate, though, and were only able to muster three hits against the Scarlet Knight's rightie, Casey Gaynor. Gaynor struck out eight in eight innings of work.
In the second game, Anthony Shawler set the tone early for ODU by striking out the first four batters that he faced and eight in the first four innings. Rutgers only mustered two hits off him in six innings of work, striking out ten total. A year ago, Shawler one-hit the Scarlet Knights at home in a 2-0 victory.
The ODU bats came alive in the 4th and 5th innings, scoring four in each. Designated hitter David Burns led off with a single through the right side. With one out, Chris Buss and Chris Keenan hit back-to-back singles plating Burns for the 1-0 lead. Freshman catcher Edgar Hernandez laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to second base to score Buss and give ODU a 2-0 lead.
With the help of a dropped fly out on the warning track and an overthrow by the catcher, the Monarchs would add two more in the inning.
In the fifth, Burns would lead off again, this time working a walk. After a sac bunt from Jake McAloose, Buss would single home Burns for his second run of the day. Keenan would follow with a single and Hernandez would notch another sacrifice, this time of the flyout variety plating Buss.
Rutgers would cut the lead to three in the 7th inning off reliever Dexter Carter, after the RHP struggled with his command. After loading the bases, freshman Kyle Hald would enter and manage his way out of the inning with five runs given up, all credited to Carter.
Hald finished the game in relief, pitching 2.2 innings and striking out two. He loaded the bases in the ninth, but managed to get a double-play ball from Jaren Matthews. Pinch runner Joey Ianiero was called out on the play, second base to shortstop, and Matthews was called out on runner's interference to end the game.
The season opening series saw the 25th ranked Monarchs split with defending BIG EAST Champion Rutgers, 1-1, and now the team will travel to Cary, N.C. for a game against #5 UNC (3-0) and then to Charlottesville, Va. to face #17 Virginia (4-0). First pitch against the Tarheels on Tuesday, February 26 is set for 3:30 and the game against the Cavaliers, on Wednesday, February 27 is set for 4:00 pm.