Monarchs Sweep Rice with 2-0 Shutout Victory
|Old Dominion 2, Rice 0 -- ODU wins series, 3-0|
NORFOLK, Va. -- Freshman John Wilson threw 6.2 innings of shutout ball and Old Dominion defeated Rice, 2-0, to complete the sweep of the Owls in the opening weekend of Conference USA action on Saturday evening at the Bud Metheny Complex.
Old Dominion (15-4, 3-0 C-USA) has now won five straight, its longest winning streak so far this season, while Rice (6-16, 0-3 C-USA) was swept for only the second time in a C-USA series in program history. The Owls entered the league in 2006.
Wilson continued ODU's streak of solid starting pitching, scattering three hits and three walks over 6.2 innings, while striking out four. The freshman improved to 4-0 on the season and is 3-0 with a 0.47 ERA in his last three starts.
Following two quick innings to start, Wilson worked his way through a crucial jam in the third, as back-to-back hits to start the frame put runners on second and third with no outs. After getting a popout, Wilson walked Rice's three-hole hitter Dane Myers to set up the bases loaded with one out. The freshman then forced a lineout and ended the inning with a strikeout to escape the inning unscathed. Wilson would allow just one hit during the remainder of his outing.
In the bottom of the fourth, Kyle Battle scored Jared Young from second for what proved to be the winning run with a line drive to left field. The RBI was Battle's 10th of the season, making him the seventh Monarch with 10+ RBIs this season.
Following Wilson's exit after 6.2 innings, Morgan Maguire tossed one inning of scoreless relief for the unofficial hold and then Craig Lopez came in to shut the door for his third save of the season and his second in as many days.
ODU added the insurance run in the bottom of the eighth, as a Rice error allowed Vinnie Pasquantino to score from second on a fielder's choice.
The shutout was ODU's second of the season. The Monarchs also shutout LIU Brooklyn, 13-0, in the season opener. It also marked the first time that Rice has been shutout in a nine-inning game this season.
The Monarchs return to action for a midweek series at The Bud against Princeton. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday and 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
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