NORFOLK, VA--The ODU Baseball Monarchs (22-15) hit the road to Williamsburg to take on the Tribe of William and Mary (22-13) in a non-conference contest which is part of the Optima Health Challenge between the two schools. Game time is 7 p.m. at Plumeri Park.
The past two years, the Monarchs and Tribe battled in the Optima Health Challenge competing in all sports in which ODU has won the title. Thus far, W&M leads the series this season 50-35 after beating ODU in men's tennis over the weekend. The winner of Tuesday's baseball game will pick up five additional points.
The Monarchs are scheduled to start freshman righthander Sam Sinnen (1-0/2.20) while the Tribe will counter with righthander Daniel Powers (0-0/6.00).
The Tribe, just off taking a series from James Madison are 22-13 overall and 6-2 in the CAA. Nick Thompson leads the team and ranks fifth nationally in hitting at .425. He also has nine homers and 29 RBI. Michael Katz is hitting .405 and is tied for the national lead in homers with Kentucky's AJ Reid with 14.
W&M is hitting .335 as a team, while their team ERA is 4.56.
The Monarchs enter the game with one of the nation's top defenses at .978 which ranks 18th. Sophomore PJ Higgins is hitting .346 with 24 RBI and 30 runs scored along with a team best 14 doubles. Higgins leads C-USA in total hits with 55. Taylor Ostrich is second at .317, Nick Walker at .309 and Josiah Burney at .306. Ben Slaton has three homers with a 294 batting average, and Jordan Negrini is at .299 with 16 RBI.
Burney leads ODU and is tied with FIU's Garcia in homers with six. He also leads C-USA in slugging at .602 and ranks fourth in RBI wiht 32.
On the mound, Andy Roberts has a 2.77 earned run average to go with his 3-0 record, while Ryan Yarbrough is 4-4 with a 2.96 ERA. Victor Diaz is third at 3.11 followed by reliever Brad Gero at 3.16.
As a team, ODU is hitting .284 overall with 14 homeruns and a 3.48 team ERA with two shutouts.
The Monarchs return to C-USA action Thursday night when they host UTSA in a three-game series.