MIAMI, FL—ODU senior lefthander Ryan Yarbrough and senior reliever Dean Ali scattered six hits to help lead the Monarchs (19-12/8-6) to a 4-2 Conference USA victory over Florida International Saturday evening. The victory gives the Monarchs their third straight league series win.
Yarbrough (3-4) pitched 7.2 innings of shutout baseball, outdueling FIU’s Cody Crouse who came into the game with a 1.56 ERA. Yarbrough fanned four, issued no walks and gave up only four hits. Dean Ali came on in the eighth with FIU runners on first and second and got the final out of the inning.
ODU broke up the scoreless duel in the sixth inning when Jordan Negrini got a one-out double and moved to third on a groundout by Ben Slaton. With two outs, Josiah Burney’s single brought home Negrini.
The Monarchs added three runs in the eighth when freshman Nick Walker hit a two-run homer with Tyler Urps aboard for a 3-0 lead. After Ben Slaton singled and Connor Myers walked, P.J. Higgins groundout brought home Slaton for a 4-0 ODU lead.
FIU scored two runs in the ninth with two outs on RBI hits from Edwin Rios and Brian Portelli ending ODU’s streak of 17.2 innings of shutout ball against the Panthers who lead the nation with the lowest team ERA at 1.61, and had a team batting average of .307.
Jordan Negrini, Ben Slaton and Josiah Burney each had two hits for the Monarchs, while Louis Silverio and Julius Gaines led FIU with two hits. Yarbrough and Ali held FIU’s Brandon Gomez (.382) and Aramis Garcia (.374), the top two hitters in C-USA hitless in four trips to the plate.
The third and final game of the series is Sunday at 1 p.m. at FIU Baseball Stadium. Listen to the game live on STAR1310 AM with Ted Alexander providing the play-by-play.
ODU 000 001 030=4-10-0 FIU 000 000 00x=2-6-0
ODU :Yarbrough, Ali (8) and K.Sinnen FIU: Crouse, Kalaf(8), Cormier(8), Duruthy (9) and Garcia.