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Monarchs Open Season With Fordham In Three-Game Series

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: February 17, 2010
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Feb. 17, 2010

NORFOLK, VA-- The ODU Baseball Monarchs open the 2010 seson with a three-game series against Fordham. First pitch is Friday at 3 p.m. in the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.

Fordham, members of the Atlantic 10 were 22-31 overall with a 16-11 Conference record under Nick Restaino. The Rams return seven position returnees and 12 pitchers. The two teams last met in 2005.

Fordham is scheduled to throw righthanders John Flanagan, Max Krakowiak and Brian Pendergast, while ODU is scheduled to throw Kyle Hald, and Ben Tomchick, with no decision yet on Sunday's pitcher.

2010 ODU BASEBALL OUTLOOK

The 2009 Monarchs roster will feature 19 returning lettermen along with seven newcomers.

In all, ODU returns an All-CAA infielder and three CAA All-Rookie selections along with six position regulars and five starting pitchers. ODU's defense led the CAA in fielding at .972.

Leading the Monarchs returnees is senior All-CAA/All-Region third baseman Jake McAloose, who hit .413 last year which ranked him second in the CAA. McAloose hit six homers and 44 RBI. His .965 fielding percentage where he committed only six errors are both new school records for an ODU third baseman.

Other returning starters include outfielders Donnie Corsner, Cameron Scott, and Josh Wright and catcher Edgar Hernandez. Corsner hit .323 with five homers and 31 RBI last year, while Josh Wright came into his own leading the Monarchs in homers with 11 and RBI with 49. Wright was selected to the CAA's All-Rookie team. Edgar Hernandez caught 42 games for the Monarchs last year while Cameron Scott was third in the CAA with 18 stolen bases.

Other impact returnees include catcher Joe Velleggia, who was drafted in the 42nd round by the Baltimore Orioles and hit four homers in just 20 games, infielders Chris Buss, Austin Wright, along with firstbaseman/designated hitter John Malbon, Kenny Stoneback, Shawn Sizemore, and Brent Frazier.

On the mound, the Monarchs have a strong youthful core returning in senior Chris Boggs, junior Kyle Hald, and sophomores Ben Tomchick, Brett Harris. Boggs led the CAA and ODU with a team best 3.20 earned run Average along with a 5-2 record, including six starts and a save. Kyle Hald pitched strong for the Monarchs late in the season while Ben Thomchick compiled a a 5-3 record with a 3.51 ERA. He was Selected to the CAA's All-Rookie squad. Brett Harris was the CAA's Rookie of the Year as he hit .303 with 31 RBI and compiled a 6-4 record with a CAA best five complete games. Brandon Smith, Cory Toth, Phil McCarthy, Erick Baker, and Chris Hardee will also be counted on for strong contributions.

Head coach Jerry Meyers and his staff brought in an outstanding group of newcomers which will continue to give the Monarchs a bright look for the future. Heading the list are junior college standouts Nathan Hartman, an outfielder from Santa Fe Community College, C.J. Huyett a righthander from Gloucester County Community College, Adam Wisniewski a righthander from Louisburg Junior College and righthander Joe Haumacher from Guilford Tech.

Freshmen newcomers include position players David Alagna, Drew Coker, Austin McGowan and John Saladino.

" We look forward to the everyday process of building this team to compete for a championships," said head coach Jerry Meyers. " We have a core group of experienced position players that we will rely on for solid leadership and a versatile lineup. We will have more depth on the mound and need to benefit from the innings many of our young guys logged for us last year. "

This year's ODU schedule will feature33 home games. Playing at the Bud Metheny Complex for weekend- series will be Rutgers, LaSalle, Fordham, Bucknell. Single game home dates will have Richmond, Maryland, Norfolk State, Liberty, Maryland-Eastern Shore and Longwood, while Mount Saint Mary's, coached by ODU Sports Hall of Famer Scott Thomson will play a two-game mid-week series.

On the road, ODU will play East Carolina, N.C. State, Maryland , Liberty, Elon, Richmond and Norfolk State. The Monarchs will play a three-game weekend series at Stetson.

This year, the Colonial Athletic Association slate will have eight three game series. ODU will host Georgia State, James Madison, Towson and Delaware. The Monarchs will travel to George Mason, William and Mary, Northeastern and Hofstra . As part of the CAA rotation, the Monarchs will not play VCU and UNC Wilmington this season.

"Our league has been very competitive from top to bottom over the last several years, and I expect more of the same in 2010. Our club expects to work and scrap to put ourselves in the thick of things at the top," said Meyers.

The CAA Baseball Championships will be played at Brooks Field in Wilmington, NC, in May with the top four teams competing for the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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