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Ben Slaton
Courtesy: ODU Sports

ODU At Nationally Ranked Virginia - Then Hosts W&M

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: March 31, 2014
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NORFOLK, VA—The ODU Baseball Monarchs travel to top ranked Virginia Tuesday (5 p.m.), then return home to host William & Mary in the Optima Health Challenge on Wednesday night (6 p.m.). Listen to both games live on STAR1310 AM with Ted Alexander and Doug Ripley providing the play-by-play.

Tuesday’s game was scheduled due to the weather back on March 5th which forced postponement. ODU enters the contest at 16-11 after taking their second straight C-USA series over the weekend against Charlotte.  Sophomore P.J. Higgins leads ODU with a .328 batting average and 20 runs scored. Jordan Negrini is at .309, followed by freshman Nick Walker at .310 with 15 runs scored.  Senior Josiah Burney leads the team with five homers and 24 RBI, followed by designated hitter Ben Slaton at .286 with three homers and 21 RBI.  As a team, ODU is hitting. 272 with a 3.41 ERA.

In C-USA statistics, Burney is tied for the league lead with Rice’s Ewing and is second in doubles with 10 and slugging at .616. Jordan Negrini ranks third in walks with 18 and second in on base percentage at .450.

Brad Gero is second on the league in saves with six and leads with 17 appearances, while Andy Roberts ranks second in C-USA in runners picked off with five.   ODU is second in the league in fielding percentage at .978.

ODU is scheduled to start Victor Diaz (RHP/1-1/3.00) on Tuesday and Tommy Alexander (RHP/1-0/4.08) on Wednesday. 

The Cavaliers are 23-4 overall (16-1 at home).  Outfielder/firstbaseman Mike Papi leads Virginia with a .355 batting average with five homers and 26 RBI.  Joe McCarthy is hitting .287 with 20 RBI and catcher/outfielder Brandon Downes has four homers with 19 RBI.  The Cavaliers are hitting .281 as a team with a 2.23 ERA. 

Last year: Virginia came from behind to defeat ODU, 10-9 in 10 innings in Charlottesville. The two teams will play again on April 29 at Harbor Park.

 The Tribe of William and Mary are 18-7 and are led by infielder Michael Katz with a .432 batting average, 13 home runs and 52 RBI. Outfielder Nick Thompson is hitting .426 with seven homers and 22 RBI and catcher Charley Gould is at .422 with 21 RBI.  As a team, W&M is hitting .348 with a 3.92 ERA.  Junior righthander Bryson Kauhaahaa (0-1/5.68) is scheduled to start on Wednesday night.  Tribe top assistant Brian Murphy is in his first year as head coach.

Last year, ODU swept the CAA three-game series, but the Tribe defeated ODU in a single-game matchup at Hampton’s War Memorial Stadium.

OPTIMAH HEALTH CHALLENGE

Wednesday’s W&M contest is part of the Optima Health Challenge between the two schools. The schools will compete against each other in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s soccer, field hockey, women’s lacrosse and other Olympic sports.  The winner of each event gets 10 points with the Tribe currently leading, 40-30.  (ODU won in field, hockey, women’s basketball and women’s tennis. Optima Health provides health plan coverage to more than 415,000 members throughout Virginia. Optima Health offers a broad spectrum of innovative products and service solutions designed for employers, employees and their families.

EXTRA INNINGS WITH CHRIS FINWOOD DEBUTS TONIGHT ON ESPN RADIO 94.1

Extra Innings with Old Dominion University Head Baseball coach Chris Finwood is on every Monday evening on ESPN radio 94.1 beginning tonight at 6:45 p.m. Finwood will give a recap of last week’s games and upcoming Monarch baseball games as well as player interviews with host and ODU Director of Broadcasting Ted Alexander.

EXTRA INNINGS WITH CHRIS FINWOOD”
 Air dates and times on ESPN Radio 94.1

Monday 3/24      6:45pm
Monday 3/31      6:45pm
Monday 4/7        6:05pm
Monday  4/14     6:05pm
Monday  4/21     6:45pm
Monday  4/28     6:05pm
Monday  5/5        6:05pm
Monday  5/12     6:45pm
Monday  5/19     6:45pm
Tuesday  5/27     6:05pm

CONFERENCE USA STANDINGS
Rice                        9-3
UAB                       6-3
UTSA                     6-3
East Carolina      6-3
Southern Miss. 6-3
FIU                         7-5
Middle Tenn.     7-5
ODU                      6-6
Marshall               5-6
Tulane                  5-6
FAU                       4-8
LA Tech               3-9
Charlotte             1-11

 

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