Hall's Walk-Off Homer Lifts ODU Past St. Joseph's, 11-10
By ODU Athletics
Feb. 27, 2009
Norfolk, Va. - Junior Gerard Hall blasted a walk-off two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give Old Dominion an 11-10 victory over visiting St. Joseph's Friday afternoon in the Monarchs home opener. With the win ODU improves to 3-4 on the year, while the Hawks remain winless at 0-5.
With the Monarchs in front 2-1 courtesy of a Josh Wright homer in the third inning, the Hawks responded with seven runs of their own in the top half of the fourth. A throwing error by Monarch catcher Joe Velleggia allowed Mike Coleman and Joe Cook to score, but the Hawks lead increased to 8-2 with Mike Boyland's three-run shot.
ODU clawed its way back into the game an inning at a time, scoring one run in the fourth and two more in the fifth when Velleggia redeemed himself with a two-run homer to left off of St. Joseph starter Chris Prescott.
Heading into the bottom of the eighth the Monarchs still trailed 8-6, but left fielder Donnie Corsner erased that deficit with one swing of the bat. His three-run homer to center, his first of the season, gave ODU the 9-8 advantage and needing just three outs to close out the contest.
However, still searching for their first victory of 2009, the Hawks didn't go away quietly. David Valesente and pinch hitter Brian Hartsell both singled, and Ben Wendle reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases for St. Joseph's with one out. ODU's Cory Toth struck out Dewey Oriente for the second out of the inning, but Cook followed with a bloop single over a diving Hall at shortstop to put the Hawks back on top 10-9.
Not to be outdone, the Monarchs came up with a two-out rally of their own in the bottom of the ninth. Leadoff hitter Max Most kept ODU alive with his two-out single and promptly moved into scoring position with his second stolen base of the day, his fourth of the year. Hall stepped to the plate looking for a base hit to tie the game, but instead he got an offering from St. Joseph reliever Adam Rivera and deposited it over the left-center field fence, giving the Monarchs the 11-10 victory on his first homer of 2009.
ODU scored its 11 runs on 12 hits, including four home runs, while on the mound Toth (1-1) earned the win after striking out eight and surrendering just two runs in five and a third innings of work.
St. Joseph's registered 10 runs on 15 hits with Rivera allowing three runs in one inning, picking up the loss.
The weekend series continues tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.