MIAMI, FL—Old Dominion (18-12/7-6)scored two runs in the seventh inning to defeat the Panthers of Florida International, 2-1 in the opener of a Conference USA match-up at FIU baseball Stadium Friday night. ODU starter Andy Roberts with the help of Dean Ali and Conner Overton scattered nine hits, struckout nine and issued no walks. FIU (23-7/7-6) came into the game leading the nation with the lowest team ERA at 1.63.
FIU took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI single by Brandon Gomez which scored Josh Anderson. The score stayed that way until the ODU seventh.
Taylor ostrich led off with a double and after one out Josh Eldridge single to left, bringing home Ostrich to tie the game 1-1. Eldridge advanced to second on the throw and would later score the winning run on a FIU two-out error on Tyler Urps grounder.
Andy Roberts (3-0) fanned three batters and gave up seven hits with no walks in 6.1 innings of work for ODU. In the bottom of the seventh FIU’s designated hitter Brian Portelli led off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. ODU reliever Dean Ali then struck out L.K. Thompson and Zach Sweety to get out of the jam.
In the ninth, FU's Josh Anderson led off with a single, pinchhitter Louis Silverio reach on an error and Brandon Gomez singled to load the bases. ODU’s Connor Overton struckout JC Escarra and Zach Sweety to end the game. FIU’s starter Mike Franco fanned eight batters in 6.2 innings of work to lower his ERA to 1.05. FIU pitchers fanned 12 batters with three walks.
Ben Slaton and Taylor Ostrich led ODU with two hits each, while Josh Anderson had three hits for FIU.Game two of the series is Saturday at 6 p.m.