NORFOLK, VA— Old Dominion (33-22) split a doubleheader with Long Island (25-25-1) Saturday, with the Monarchs winning the opener, 5-2 and LIU taking the nightcap, 4-2 in 10 innings in a non-conference contest on senior day. The Monarchs learned they will play Middle Tennessee State Wednesday morning at 10 am in the first round of 2014 Conference USA Baseball Championships in Hattiesburg, MS. At Southern Miss. ODU and MTSU tied for fourth with the Blue Raiders winning the regular season series and getting the fourth seed and ODU fifth. (Bracket is attached)
In game one, P.J. Higgins drove in two runs with two hits and Brian Bashara added two hits and also knocked in a run. Josh Eldridge led ODU hitters with three hits in the game. Senior lefthander Ryan Yarbrough (6-6) picked up the win in relief and fellow senior Brad Gero got his 11th save of the season.
In game two, LIU scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning on a two-run single by pinchhitter Harrison Pereschel. ODU’s two runs came in the third on an RBI single by Josh Eldridge to bring home Tyler Urps and in the seventh inning on an RBI single by PJ Higgins which plated pinchrunner Dylan Hill with the tying run. Despite the loss, reliever Brad Gero (3-3) becomes ODU’s single season leader with 34 appearances thus far this season.
ODU honored its ODU's 11 seniors; Brian Bashara (SS, Norfolk, Va.), Tyler Urps (SS, Wilton,CA.), Josiah Burney (1b, Gloucester, VA.),Brad Gero (RHP, Lake Worth, FL.), Andy Roberts (LHP, Prescott, AZ.), Brett Harris (RHP, Chesapeake, VA.), Jordan Negrini(Kihei, HI.), Ryan Yarbrough (LHP, Lakeland, FL.), Dean Ali (RHP, Chesapeake, VA.), and Ben Slaton (DH, Magnolia, MS.), along with manager Garrett Brumfield (Norfolk, VA.), and former Monarch pitcher pro baseball player Dexter Carter, who graduated last December (Murfreesboro, NC.) in a pre-game ceremony.
Conference USA Opening Day Tournament Schedule
Wednesday, May 21 (ET)
Game 1 (5) Old Dominion vs. (4) Middle Tennessee 10:00a
Game 2 (8) FIU vs. (1) Rice 1:30p
Game 3 (7) UTSA vs. (2) UAB 4:00p
Game 4 (6) East Carolina vs. (3) Southern Miss 8:30p
For the eighth time in their nine years as a member of Conference USA, Rice has won at least a share of the league's regular season crown, taking its sixth outright title. The Owls will be the No.1 seed at the 2014 C-USA Championship at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss., May 21-25. For Rice (37-17), it marks the 19th consecutive season that the Owls have won a conference regular season or tournament championship, dating back to 1995, the final year of the Southwest Conference.
The Championship will feature the top eight teams in regular-season league play and the format returns to two double-elimination brackets, with a single-elimination championship game. This year's tournament marks the first time in league history that all eight participating teams have won 30 or more games.