Baseball Monarchs Begin New Era In 81st Season Friday Against Temple

February 16, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Feb. 16, 2012

NORFOLK, VA--The 2012 Old Dominion University Baseball Monarchs begin a new era with its 81st season of Baseball under the direction of first-year head coach Chris Finwood. The Monarchs open The season at home with a three-game series against the Temple Owls. First pitch is 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17th at the newly renovated Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.

The Monarchs return eight starters, 16 lettermen and nine newcomers. Leading the returnees is first team All-CAA shortstop and pre-season Player of the Year, shortstop Josh Wright (Sr./SS/ .369/12 HR/44 RBI), pre-season honorable mention All-CAA first baseman Chris Baker (Sr./1b/.297 BA/10 HR/63 RBI), CAA All-Tournament pitchers Ben Tomchick (RHP/Sr./8-4/3.14 ERA) and Phil McCarthy (RHP/Sr/9-4/4.05 ERA/3 CG).

ODU returns its entire infield with Baker at firstbase, Joey Burney (So./.257 BA/8 HR/ 34 RBI) will anchor the designated hitter spot and Josh Tutwiler (Sr/.235 BA) returns behind the plate.

The Monarchs will also be counting on Brian Bashara (So./Inf), Drew Coker (So./ Of); Austin McGowan (Jr./Inf); and Ty Yesensky (So./Inf).

Joining McCarthy and Ben Tomchick will be All-CAA rookie team selection Dean Ali (So./RHP/ 2.86 ERA),former CAA Rookie of the Year Brett Harris (Jr./RHP), C.J. Huyett (Sr./RHP), Bryan Ramirez (RHP); Mike Ney(Jr/RHP), Ben Verlander SO/(RHP/4.83 ERA); Erik Baker (Jr./RHP); and Brandon Smith (Jr./RHP).

Monarch newcomers include: Donald Engler (Fr./LHP), Michael Perez (Fr./C); Greg Tomchick (Fr/RHP);Josh Eldridge (Fr./OF); Michael Rienerth (Fr/RHP/Inf.); Conner Overton (Fr./RHP/Inf); Kenneth Belgrave (Jr./OF); Tyler Smith (So./C/UT); Dylan Bratton (Fr./RHP); and Kevin Griffey (Fr./LHP).

The Monarchs will play 35 home games, including a contest against VMI at Hampton's War Memorial Stadium on March 14th.

ODU will host CAA rivals Delaware, Hofstra, VCU, James Madison and Georgia State. The CAA Championships will include the top six teams and will be played at JMU in Harrisonburg, VA.

ROTATION PROBABLES: ODU will throw McCarthy, Ben Tomchick and Brett Harris. Temple will go with Matt Hockenberry, Patrick Peterson and Steve Nikorak.

HOME GAME PROMOTIONS will include the Lucky Program Bonanza throughout the game. Each inning A pre-determined event occurs for the Monarchs and a lucky program number will be announced. 1st inning (single); 2nd inning (double); 3rd inning (steal a base; Stihl); 4th inning (triple); Fifth inning (Double Play; ABNB); sixth inning (Walk a Monarch); seventh inning (Triple Play; Cox); eighth inning (Home run); ninth inning (Strikeout; Pepsi).

Monarch fans can purchase the Monarch Sports Pass for $10.00 for admission to all home games. The first 250 fans will get an ODU Baseball Hat.