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Baseball Weekend Recap With Head Coach Chris Finwood

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: April 15, 2013
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April 15, 2013

NORFOLK, VA - The Old Dominion University baseball team went 2-2 against competition throughout last week. The Monarchs started off the week with a 7-4 victory over the University of Richmond last Tuesday night, which extended their winning streak to four games. ODU then went 1-2 against Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y. this past weekend, with two games being played on Saturday due to inclement weather on Friday night.  

ODU returns to action Tuesday night in Lynchburg against Liberty at 6 p.m., then at Virginia on Wednesday before returning home for a three-game CAA series on Friday against William and Mary.

Sunday - ODU: 14 Hofstra: 5
The ODU Baseball Monarchs (18-16/8-10) exploded for nine runs in the first and three more in the second to defeat Hofstra Sunday afternoon in the CAA contest, 14-5.

The Monarchs scored nine runs as 14 batters came to the plate against three Hofstra pitchers in the first inning. Leading the way with two RBI hits were Tyler Urps and Ben Slaton. Ben Verlander, Jordan Negrini, PJ Higgins, Brian Beard and Josh Eldridge also knocked in a run each.

ODU added three more in the second highlighted by a two-run double by Josh Eldridge which knocked home Ben Verlander and Connor Myers.

Ben Slaton led ODU with three hits on the day with two runs batted in. Freshman P.J. Higgins and Chris Livers each had two hits on the day. Josh Eldridge led the Monarchs with three RBI's, while Verlander, Slaton and Tyler Urps each knocked in two runs.

Junior lefthander Ryan Yarbrough pitched six innings, fanning a career high eight batters and allowing only one earned run.

Saturday (Doubleheader) 
Game One: ODU: 4 Hofstra: 8 
In game one, the Pride rallied for three runs in the seventh to take a 6-4 lead. Hofstra then added two more runs in the eighth on their way to an 8-4 victory.

ODU scored two in the top of the first as Josh Eldridge scored from first on a Hofstra error and then Ben Slaton scored on an RBI single by Austin McGowan.

The Monarchs took a 4-2 lead into the third inning on a RBI double by Ben Slaton which brought home Eldridge, followed by an RBI groundout by Josiah Burney which brought home Slaton.

Eldridge and Slaton led ODU with two hits each, while Reistetter led Hofstra with three hits on the day.

Game Two: ODU: 1 Hofstra: 5
In game two, Hofstra took the early 1-0 lead in the second on a run scoring double. ODU tied the game in the third on a sacrifice fly RBI by Josh Eldridge which brought home Freshman Brian Beard.

The Pride retook the lead for good in the fifth off of a sacrifice fly and then added three insurance runs on double, followed by a two-run homer in the eighth.

Tuesday - ODU: 7 Richmond: 4
Junior Ben Verlander (Maidens, VA) knocked in four runs to lead the Monarchs (17-14) to a 7-4 victory over the Richmond Spiders (21-10) Tuesday night at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. Thus giving the Monarchs a four game winning streak.

Trailing, 1-0 in the bottom of the third, ODU scored four runs with the help of a three-run homer by Verlander, last week's CAA Player of the Week. His CAA leader 10th homer plated freshman Connor Myers (Middletown, MD.), and Tyler Urps (Wilton, CA.). Later in the inning freshman P.J. Higgins (Wallingford, CT.) singled home Jordan Negrini (Kihei, HI) for a 4-1 ODU lead.

Tyler Urps singled in Mike Perez (Fairfax Station, VA.) in the fourth for a 5-1 lead. The Spiders closed the gap to 5-4 in the sixth inning before ODU added insurance runs in the seventh as Verlander singled home Tyler Urps and Negrini later brought home freshman Brian Beard (Chesapeake, VA.) with a sacrifice fly.

Sophomore Victor Diaz (Perth Amboy, NJ.) picked up the win in relief and senior Brandon Smith (Chesapeake, VA.) picked up his sixth save of the season. Junior Brett Harris (Chesapeake, VA.), the 2009 CAA Rookie Of the Year made his first start in over a year, and went three innings allowing just one run on one hit, with two walks and one strikeout.

Three Monarchs, Verlander, P.J. Higgins, and Tyler Urps each had two hits on the night for ODU.

UPCOMING GAMES: The ODU Baseball Monarchs travel to Lynchburg, Va. to take on the Flames of Liberty(19-17) Tuesday night at 7 p.m., then travel to Charlottesville on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. contest at nationally ranked Virginia. That contest can be heard live on STAR1310AM with Ted Alexander and Doug Ripley.

Liberty is led by Trey Wimmer with a .333 batting average, followed by Bryan Aanderud at .328. Ryan Cordell leads the team with four homers. Liberty will throw lefthander Jared Lyons (0-0/6.00 ERA).

Mike Papi is hitting .400 with four homers and 25 RBI for the Cavaliers.Brandon Cogswell is hitting .362 with 41 runs scored, followed by Derek Fisher at .321 with 30 RBI. Brandon Downes leads the Cavs in homers with five along with 36 RBI.

ODU is scheduled to start freshman Jake Josephs (3-3/4.83) against Liberty and red shirt junior Brett Harris (0-0/3.00) against Virginia.

ODU is 34-19 against Liberty and 30-21-2 against Virginia. The Flames defeated the Monarchs 10-6 last year at ODU. ODU last played Virginia in 2006. The Monarchs won in Charlottesville, 5-1 and lost to UVA at ODU, 11-10.

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