Baseball Monarchs Open Season At Georgia Tech Friday
The 2014 ODU Baseball Monarchs open the season Friday in Atlanta against Georgia Tech in the Battle in Midtown tournament which will include State rivals VCU and Radford. ODU will play host Georgia Tech Friday at 3:00, VCU on Saturday at 12 noon and Radford on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. The games will be played at Russ Chandler Stadium on the corner of Fowler and Fifth streets.
SERIES: Georgia Tech leads the series, 4-3. The last time the two teams played was in 1986. This will be the first of three meetings with VCU this season. ODU leads that series 86-58. The Rams won last year’s game in Hampton. The Monarchs lead the series with Radford, 23-5 as the two last played in 2007.
PITCHING: The Monarchs are scheduled to throw senior lefthander Ryan Yarbrough (4-4/3.27 ERA) who was selected in the 20th round of last year’s Major League baseball draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. sophomore righthander Tommy Alexander (4-4/4.98 ERA) will start on Saturday and senior lefthander Andy Roberts (5-3/2.92 ERA) will go on Sunday. Roberts led ODU with the lowest earned run average, and most wins.
Senior righthander Dean Ali (4-3/3.02 ERA),who was last year’s Friday pitcher returns to the bullpen. Ali led the Monarchs in strikeouts. Also returning is senior righthander Brad Gero (4-3/3.00 ERA), lefthanded sophomore Jake Josephs (4-4/4.76), senior righthander Brett Harris (1-2/5.40 ERA),lefthander Mitch Moynihan (1-0/3.00), and righthander Victor Diaz (1-0).
Georgia Tech is scheduled to throw sophomore lefthander Jonathan King (6-5/4.04 ERA) against the Monarchs on Friday.
POSITION PLAYERS: In the outfield, the Monarchs return junior Josh Eldridge and Connor Myers, along with Ben Slaton, Brian Beard and Dylan Hill. Junior catcher Michael Perez returns as does infielders P.J. Higgins, Jordan Negrini, Tyler Urps, Brian Bashara and sophomore catcher Chris Livers.
Eldridge was selected to the C-USA pre-season All-Conference squad. Last year, Eldridge hit .297 with a team best 50 RBI, 15 doubles, four triples and was second on the team with 41 runs scored and six homers. Eldridge played in the Cape Cod Summer League for the Chatham Anglers.
Thirdbaseman Jordan Negrini hit .275 with 13 doubles, two triples and three homers and had the game winning RBI to help lead the Peninsula Pilots to the Coastal Plains League title along with Monarch shortstop Tyler Urps and centerfielder Connor Myers. Myers scored 33 times and is ODU’s top returning base stealer (13) from a year ago. Perez tied Eldridge for second on the team with six homers, while designated hitter Ben Slaton was third on the team with 27 RBI.
Both Yarbrough and Negrini were both ranked by PerfectGame.org as top 100 college seniors.
NEWCOMERS: The Monarchs’ newcomers include junior college standouts Taylor Ostrich (1b/of), and Greg Tomchick (RHP). Freshmen include Nick Walker (INF), Adam Bainbridge (LHP), Joey Benitez (LHP), Turner Bishop (LHP), Sam Sinnen (RHP)Greyson Finwood (INF), Joseph Guaragna (OF), Kurt Sinnen (C/1b), Robby Lathrop (UTL), and Zach Sligh (RHP).
THE SCHEDULE: Seven opponents; including pre-season No. 1 Virginia, pre-season No. 15 and defending C-USA Champion Rice, Georgia Tech, William and Mary, Florida Atlantic, UTSA, and Liberty competed in last year’s NCAA Tournament, with Rice and Virginia advancing to the Super -Regionals. The schedule will feature 32 homes games, including a game at Harbor Park and one at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton.
The Monarchs open their home schedule on Feb. 21-23 with the inaugural ODU Baseball Invitational at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex, which includes Kentucky, St. Joseph’s and St. John’s.
ODU will play home-and-home non-conference games, against Virginia, VCU, William & Mary, Liberty, and VMI. In addition, Rutgers will play a three-game series, Feb. 28-Mar. 2, and LIU May 16 & 17.
The Monarchs will play at Harbor Park, home of the Norfolk Tides, the AAA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles against The University of Virginia on April 29. The annual “Key Dog Classic” will again be held at Hampton’s War Memorial Stadium on Mar. 26 against VCU.
The first Conference-USA series will be March 7-9 at defending champion Rice in Houston, Texas. The first home C-USA series will be Mar. 14-16 against UAB. The Monarchs will also host C-USA series against Charlotte Mar. 28-30, East Carolina April 11-13, UTSA, April 17-19 and Florida Atlantic, May 2-4. Besides Rice, ODU will play C-USA road series at Louisiana Tech, FIU, Middle Tennessee State and Marshall. The C-USA Tournament will be at Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. May 21-25.
ODU season voucher books that contain 32 ticket vouchers are available for $50. See all 32 home games or bring 32 people to one game. This also includes the Virginia game at Harbor Park and the VCU game at Hampton’s War memorial Stadium. For more information, please purchase at YnotTix.com or call 757-683-4444.