NORFOLK, Va. -- On an afternoon when winds gusted to as high as 50 miles per hour, Old Dominion dropped a close game to Rutgers, 7-6, in the opener of a three-game set at the Bud Metheny Complex this weekend.
Despite mostly clear skies, a nor'easter off the coast brought gale-force winds, blowing from left to right field, into the region, making any ball hit into the air a nightmare for fielders.
Old Dominion (3-6) scored four runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 4-0 lead. Matt Schwarz, who went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and four RBIs, capped off the four-run first with a bases-loaded triple.
Rutgers (4-4) answered with three runs in the top of the second and then took the lead with a run in the seventh, two in the eighth and an insurance run in the ninth. The Monarchs cut into the deficit with a run in both the eighth and ninth, but stranded the go-ahead and game-tying runs on base to end the game. Overall, ODU left eight on base.
Aside from Schwarz, freshman DJ Lardge registered his second consecutive multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run, and Vinnie Pasquantino had an RBI double.
On the mound, Hunter Gregory received the loss, allowing three runs in two innings of relief. Starting pitcher Jim Fluke had his best outing of the young season, allowing three runs in five innings while striking out five.
The series resumes tomorrow at 2 p.m. Brett Smith will take the hill for ODU against Rutgers left-hander Harry Rutkowski.
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