Rutgers Sweeps Series From ODU With First Inning Homers
By ODU Athletics
March 8, 2009
Norfolk, Va. - The Scarlet Knights of Rutgers scored all four of their runs in their first at bat and held off several threats by Old Dominion to sweep the weekend series from the Monarchs with a 4-3 win at the Bud Metheny Complex in Norfolk.
With ODU sophomore Robbie Watkins making his first start off the year, the Scarlet Knights (4-5) came out swinging and it paid off early on. Leadoff hitter Michael Lang walked to open the game and Pat Biserta followed with a two-run homer to left center. Jaren Matthews drew a walk as well, and in similar fashion he was brought home with a two-run shot by center fielder Luis Feliz.
Facing a 4-0 deficit the Monarchs responded immediately with three runs in the bottom half of the first off of Rutgers 6-foot-8 freshman pitcher Charlie Law. Jake McAloose got ODU on the board with the first of three RBI singles, while Chris Buss and designated hitter Brett Harris accounted for the others. The Monarchs loaded the bases with two outs hoping to at least tie the score with a walk or a base hit, but catcher Edgar Hernandez grounded out to Law to end the ODU threat.
ODU had an excellent opportunity to go ahead in the third when Buss and Harris led off with back to back doubles, yet the rookie Rutgers pitcher worked himself out of the jam. Law struck out Cameron Scott and got Hernandez to ground out again, and with the bases load forced Josh Wright to foul out to first base.
Following their slow starts, both pitchers settled down and turned in solid efforts after that first inning. Law allowed just three more hits and zero runs before leaving the game in the fifth inning. Watkins surrendered just one more hit over his final six innings of work to keep the Monarchs within a run at 4-3.
However, Rutgers Willie Beard replaced Law on the mound in the fifth inning and he tossed four innings of shutout baseball, striking out five and allowing just two hits to earn his first win of the year. Ryan Beard came on in the ninth to close out the game and pick up his second save of the series.
Despite hot allowing a run in his final six innings, Watkins picked up the loss for ODU who also left 10 runners on base on the day.
The Monarchs return to the diamond on Tuesday when they'll travel to Columbia, S.C., to take on the Gamecocks of South Carolina.