ODU Opens CAA Play At James Madison

March 08, 2007
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

March 8, 2007

NORFOLK, VA--The Old Dominion University Baseball Monarchs (11-7) open the Colonial Athletic Association season this weekend in Harrisonburg, VA with a three-game series against the Dukes of James Madison. Friday's game begins at 3 p.m. at JMU's Long Field/Mauck Stadium. This is a rematch of last year's top two teams in the CAA.

Senior outfielder Mike Zahm (Omaha, NE.) leads ODU with a .441 batting average. He is tied for second with freshman Jake McAloose (Virginia Beach, VA.) with 20 RBI's. Junior designated hitter David Burns (Jacksonville, FL.) leads the team with 23 RBI and four home runs. Burns is hitting at .382.

On the mound, sophomore Anthony Shawler (Chesapeake, VA.), the CAA Pitcher of the Week for two straight weeks is 4-0 with a 2.37 earned run average and two straight shutouts. He has 40 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. Dan Hudson is 2-2 with a 3.42 ERA and Ryan Bergh (Reddick, FL.) is 2-2 with a 3.21 ERA. Shawler was also named Pitcher of The Week for the second straight week in the Southeast by Insidepitching.com.

The Monarchs have been riddled with injuries, losing All-CAA outfielder Jimmy Miles (Orlando, FL.) to a knee injury, firstbaseman Brian Cipolla (Plainview, NY.) who has been the Monarchs top RBI leader for three years to a broken bone in his hand, and sophomore shortstop Chris Buss (Rosemount, MN.) with a back injury. All three are out for the season.

In Colonial Athletic Association statistics, ODU is third in overall team hitting at .320 and second in team pitching with a 316 ERA. Zahm ranks fifth in the CAA in hitting at .441. Shawler, Bergh and Hudson are seventh, eighth and ninth in individual ERA. Shawler , Hudson and Bergh are one, two and three in the CAA in strikeouts.

The Dukes are led by 2006 All-American outfielder Kellen Kulbacki with a .438 batting average, and an .813 slugging percentage. The Dukes lead the overall series, 43-36-1, but the Monarchs swept JMU last year in three games. JMU was the CAA regular season champion last year with a 38-21 record (22-8 in CAA), while ODU was second at 39-17(21-9 in the CAA).

Probable starting pitchers:
ODU- Dan Hudson (Friday), Anthony Shawler (Saturday) and Ryan Bergh (Sunday).
JMU - Kurt Houck (Friday) , Kyle Hoffman (Saturday). and Justin Wood(Sunday.