NORFOLK, VA-- The ODU Baseball Monarchs winners of six of their last seven return home for a three-game stand with Rutgers beginning Saturday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex, due to freezing temperatures expected on Friday. The second game will start approximately 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.
The Scarlett Knights are members of the American Athletic Conference this year and will join the Big Ten next season. Rutgers is under the direction of new head coach Joe Litterio who replaced the long time head coach Fred Hill last week. Hill retired after 37 years and 1,089 victories at the collegiate level. He led the Scarlet Knights to 11 NCAA Regional appearances and eight conference titles.
Rutgers is scheduled to start Howie Brey (LHP 1-0/1.64), Kyle Driscoll (RHP 1-0/3.68) on Saturday and Kevin Baxter (RHP/0-0/0.00) on Sunday.
The Monarchs are schedule to start senior lefthander Ryan Yarbrough (1-0/2.70), sophomore righthander Tommy Alexander (0-0/2.89) on Saturday and lefthander Andy Roberts (1-0/1.80) on Sunday.
Through nine games senior thirdbaseman Jordan Negrini leads the Monarchs in hitting at .419 with six runs scored and five RBI. Sophomore outfielder Connor Myers is second at .382 with five runs scored and junior Taylor Ostrich is at .343 with five RBI.
Senior designated hitter Ben Slaton leads ODU in homers with two. Slaton cracked his second of the season at Richmond Tuesday. He has six RBI along with firstbaseman Josiah Burney.
Thus far 11 Monarchs have earned run averages under 3.00 and six are at 0.00. ODU's team ERA is 3.15 with two shutouts (against St. John's and Richmond).
Rutgers leads the series against ODU, 31-17. Last year, Rutgers defeated ODU, 3-0 and 17-7, while the Monarchs won game two of the series, 4-3. The Monarchs last won a series from the Scarlet Knights in 2010.