HOUSTON, TX – ODU senior shortstop Tyler Urps singled home Jordan Negrini to give the Monarchs (9-6/1-2) their first ever C-USA victory, 2-1 over 18th ranked Rice in 10 innings after losing the opening game, 3-2 in 17 innings. The victory was head coach Chris Finwood's 300th career collegiate win.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the 10th Jordan Negrini led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. He was sacrificed to second by Taylor Ostrich, and Josiah Burney walked (Nick Walker came in to pinch run for him). Tyler Urps then singled up the middle to score his junior college teammate Negrini with two outs for the 2-1 lead.
Rice led 1-0 early when Michael Aquino singled home Leon Byrd, but ODU senior Ben Slaton slammed his team leading third homer of the season over the right centerfield wall in the fourth inning to tie the game at 1-1.
Rice threatened to win the game in the bottom of the ninth after Ford Stainback got a two-out double. ODU ace reliever Brad Gero came on and struckout pinchhitter Chase McDowell to get out of the inning. Gero pitched four innings in the 17 inning contest earlier in the day.
In the bottom of the 10th, Negrini snagged a line drive by Charlie Warren for the first out. Gero then got Trevor Teykl to ground out and Leon Byrd flew out to end the game and give Gero the win.
The Monarchs threatened to take the lead in the sixth inning. Tyler Urps led off with a single, and after being sacrificed to second by Connor Myers he tried to score from second on TJ Higgins’ single to right, but was thrown out at the plate.
Rice starter Kevin McCanna pitched 9.1 innings in a no decision, allowing five hits, one walk and striking out five. Austin Orewiler who won game one in relief, got the loss in game two. The 27 total innings equals the 2006 double-header at Towson for the most total innings played .
The Monarchs win today was the first over a top 20 team since beating No. 2 North Carolina in 2008.
ODU hosts VMI Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m.