BOCA RATON, Fla. -- No. 25 Old Dominion, trailing 8-5, scored four runs in the top of the ninth to pull out a dramatic 9-8 win over Florida Atlantic on Friday evening at the FAU Baseball Stadium.
With the win, Old Dominion (36-18, 19-10 C-USA) clinches the No. 2 seed in next week's Conference USA Tournament.
In the four-run ninth, Turner Bishop tied the game with a three-run home run with runners on first and third and one out. Following a Kurt Sinnen single in the ensuing at-bat and a sac bunt by Bryce Windham, Jared Young scored Sinnen from second with a single for what proved to be the game-winning RBI.
Isaiah Nelson earned the win on the mound with a scoreless eighth and Corey Klak recorded his fifth save of the year with a perfect ninth.
Overall, the win is Old Dominion's third season when trailing entering the ninth and 12th when trailing after the sixht inning. Overall, the Monarchs are now 10-3 in one-run games.
In a game that featured four lead changes, ODU grabbed the early lead with a run in the top of the first. Florida Atlantic (32-19-1, 17-12 C-USA) responded with four runs in the second, before the Monarchs answered with two runs in both the third and fourth innings to take a brief 5-4 lead. The Owls then regained the lead with a three runs in the fourth to pull ahead 7-5.
FAU added a run in the seventh on Austin Langham's solo home run. FAU carried the 8-5 advantage into the ninth, before the Monarchs' late magic.
Young led the Monarchs at the plate with a 3-for-5 day, including a triple and an RBI. Rutherford went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, while Will Morgan went 2-for-5 with a home run, his first of the season. Sinnen and Culver Lamb also collected two-hit games.
The series finale is set for tomorrow at 1 p.m. on CUSA.tv and STAR 1310. The tournament bracket and the Monarchs' first-round opponent will be revealed tomorrow afternoon.
GAME NOTES FAU still leads the all-time series, 8-4 ... The game featured four lead changes ... The 36 wins ties the most for ODU under head coach Chris Finwood ... The second-place finish and 19 conference wins are both team bests during the Finwood Era ... Bryce Windham hit in the leadoff position for the first time in his career ... Zach Rutherford hit his team-leading 24th and 25th doubles of the season (ODU record is 27 by Rob Morgan in 1995) ... Rutherford's 25 doubles rank third in the NCAA ... Will Morgan's home run was his first of the season and second of his career.
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