Baseball Weekend Recap With Head Coach Chris Finwood

April 08, 2013
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 8, 2013

NORFOLK, Va. - The Old Dominion University baseball team went 3-1 in competition last week, which was topped off by a sweep of the Dukes of James Madison University on Sunday. The last time ODU swept the Dukes was in 2004, which was also in Harrisonburg. The Monarchs also fell to No. 27 Campbell (8-0) last Wednesday night in Buies Creek, N.C.

The Monarchs return home Tuesday night at 6 p.m. to host the University of Richmond. That contest can be heard live on STAR1310 AM with voice of the Baseball Monarchs Ted Alexander.

Sunday Afternoon - ODU: 14 JMU: 2
Old Dominion pounded out 19 hits in its 14-2 CAA victory over James Madison on Sunday afternoon.

Leading the way for the Monarchs was Austin McGowan with three hits and three runs along with two homers, followed by Brian Bashara with two hits and a homer. Junior outfielder Ben Verlander knocked in four runs on three hits, and freshman centerfielder Connor Myers had three hits as well.

ODU freshman right-hander Tommy Alexander picked up his first collegiate win in relief, going 4.1 innings with just two hits and three strikeouts.

Austin McGowan started ODU's five-run explosion in the second inning with a solo homer over the rightfield wall. With the bases loaded, Ben Verlander tripled in Tyler Urps, Brian Beard and Connor Myers. Sophomore leftfielder Josh Eldridge finished the scoring by tripling home Verlander. Both of Eldridges hits were triples, which gave him a team best four on the season.

McGowan would later hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning with Bashara aboard. Bashara hit a solo homer in the sixth inning.

Besides Eldridge, Brian Bashara and Tyler Urps each had two hits on the day. The 19 hits are the most this season since banging out 16 in a game against Towson.

Saturday Night - ODU: 6 JMU: 5
ODU freshman centerfielder Connor Myers (Middletown,MD.) knocked in three runs and third baseman Jordan Negrini (Kihei, Hawaii) knocked in two as the Monarchs defeated James Madison, 6-5 Saturday night at the Dukes Eagle Field.

Negrini put ODU up early with a run scoring single in the first inning, plating Josh Eldridge (Lorton, VA.). In the fifth with the bases loaded, Myers tripled home Michael Perez (Fairfax Station, VA.), Tyler Urps (Wilton, CA.) and Brian Bashara (Norfolk, Va.). Myers then scored on Eldridge's sacrifice fly to give ODU a 5-0 lead. ODU added one more run in the sixth on Negrini's RBI single that scored Josiah Burney (Gloucester, Va.).

The Monarchs junior lefthander Andy Roberts (Prescott, AZ) held JMU hitless until Chad Carroll beat out a leadoff bunt single in the fifth inning. Later in that inning with the bases loaded, Tyler Duke and Johnny Bladel both walked to force home runs and cut ODU's lead to 5-2.

In the eighth inning, JMU added three more runs to make the score 6-5, but ODU's right-handed junior reliever, Brad Gero (Lakeland, FL) pitched the last 1.1 innings for his first save of the season.

Burney led ODU with three hits on the night, while Negrini had two hits.

Friday Night - ODU: 7 JMU: 4
Juniors Ben Verlander (Maidens, Va.) and Josiah Burney (Gloucester, Va.) each slammed homers to lead the Monarchs to a 7-4 CAA victory over James Madison Friday night at Vet Memorial Park. The win ended ODU's four-game losing streak.

Verlander had three hits on the night, including his CAA leading ninth homerun of the season, a solo shot to right in the fifth inning. Verlander also scored three times on the night and bumped his hitting average up to .409 on the season.

Monarchs first baseman Josiah Burney, knocked in three runs which included a sacrifice fly RBI in the third inning which gave ODU a 2-0 lead and a two-run homer in the eighth which helped the Monarchs extend its lead to 6-2.

Junior designated hitter Ben Slaton (Magnolia, MS.) knocked in a run in the first inning with a single to bring home Josh Eldridge for a 1-0 lead. Catcher Michael Perez (Fairfax Station, VA.) singled home Jordan Negrini (Kihei, Hawaii) in the eighth. Junior second baseman Brian Bashara (Norfolk, VA.) knocked in ODU's seventh and final run in the ninth with a sacrifice fly.

Junior right-hander Dean Ali (Chesapeake, VA.) picked up his second win of the season after going 6.1 innings of work with one walk and four strikeouts. Ali's ERA is 2.09 which is third best in the CAA. Junior lefthander Ryan Yarbrough (Lakeland, FL.) picked up his first save of the season.

Richmond comes into Tuesday's game with a 21-9 record. Bret Williams leads the Spiders in hitting with a .388 batting average along with 28 RBI and nine doubles. Jacob Mayers is hitting .379 with four homers and 24 RBI and Adam Forrer leads the team with five homers. On the mound, Zak sterling (4-1 with a 2.20 ERA) and Andrew Blum is 4-0 with a 3.51 ERA.

The Spiders are scheduled to throw lefthander Chris Bates (1-0/3.86 ERA), while the Monarchs will counter with righthander Brett Harris (0-0/0.00).Richmond defeated ODU earlier this year, 7-6 in Richmond.

Ben Verlander continues to lead ODU with a .402 batting average with a CAA best nine homers along with three triples and 21 RBI. Josh Eldridge continues to lead the team with 23 RBI and has four triples..

On the mound Dean Ali continues to have one of the top five ERA's in the CAA at 2.09 along wiht a 2-2 record and 41 strikeouts in 47-plus innings. Andy Roberts is next at 2.82 ERA.

EXTRA INNINGS RADIO SHOW WITH Chris Finwood will be Thursday, April 11 this week at 6:35 on ESPN94.1 Radio - Will feature coach Finwood and sophomore outfielder Josh Eldridge.