Monarchs Host VCU As Staff Aces Face Off Friday Night

April 08, 2004
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 8, 2004

NORFOLK, VA-Two of college baseball's premier pitchers will go head-to-head Friday night when Old Dominion hosts Virginia Commonwealth in a CAA series beginning at 7 p.m. at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.

ODU will throw pre-season All-American Justin Verlander (3-3/3.50 ERA) against VCU's pre-season All-American Justin Orenduff (2-3 /2.89 ERA). Both were teammates on Team USA last summer and helped the team win the Silver Medal in the Pan Am Games.

Verlander (Goochland HS/Goochland, VA.)leads the CAA in strikeouts with 74 in 54 innings, ranks ninth in earned run average, first in batters striking out looking(30), games started (9) and second in innings pitched (54). Teams are batting .205 against him. Verlander is the CAA's and ODU's all-time strikeout leader with 350.

Orenduff (Western Branch HS, Chesapeake, VA.)is sixth in earned run average, third in innings pitched (53), second in strikeouts (68), eighth in starts (8). Teams are batting .239 against him.

The Rams are 19-12 overall and 5-1 in the CAA. Anthony Granato leads The team with a .349 batting average, 31 runs scored and 24 of 27 stolen bases. Jeff Parris leads the team in home runs with three and is second to Granato in Runs batted in with 21. Besides Orenduff, Harold Mozingo(4-1/2.33 ERA) will pitch on Saturday and Matt Prendergast (6-0/2.29 ERA) is scheduled to pitch on Sunday.

Both teams pitching staffs have struck out more batters than innings pitched thus far this season. VCU has 282 in 269 innings, while ODU has 262 in 260 innings. The ODU staff fanned 14 in the loss to #24 N.C. State Wednesday night.

ODU, (12-17/2-4) is paced by Keith Hahn (Valley Stream, NY.) with a .333 batting average, while sophomore Steven Harris (Virginia Beach, VA. -Kellam HS) is hitting .319 and is tied with Derek James (Terre Haute, IN.) with 17 runs batted in and home runs with three. Freshman Bryan Cipolla (Plainview, NY.)leads the team in runs scored with 21 in 29 games.

Junior James Burok (Archbald, PA.) is scheduled to pitched on Saturday, while Donnie Smith (Portsmouth, VA) is scheduled for Sunday. Smith is tied for third in the CAA in strikeouts with 53 in 42-plus innings. Smith also ranks fourth in earned run average at 2.55.

Tickets for the game are $4 for adults, $3 for youth, senior citizens, Military and faculty and staff. For more information call the ticket office at 683-5484.