Oehler Leads ODU To 10-6 Win Over Towson
May 12, 2002
TOWSON, Md. - Junior catcher John Oehler (Audubon H.S./Audubon, N.J.) went five-for-five with a school record-tying three home runs as Old Dominion University (24-24, 6-11) ended Towson University's (23-26-1, 9-12) seven-game winning steak with a 10-6 Colonial Athletic Association win over the Tigers at Schuerholz Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Monarchs, who were eliminated from CAA Tournament contention yesterday when the Tigers rallied for a 9-8 win, ended Towson's CAA playoff hopes with the victory. ODU also ruined the Tigers' Senior Day festivities by winning the series finale.
For the first time since 1998, Towson will not qualify for its conference tournament. The Tigers were part of the America East Tournament the last three years, finishing as runners-up in 1999 and 2001.
Oehler, who entered Sunday's game with just one home run on the season, enjoyed the biggest game of his college career. In addition to going five-for-five, he scored five runs and had five runs batted in. His three home runs tied the ODU single game record, a mark set by Nick Boothe in 1985 and matched by Matt Quatraro in 1994 and Jeff Eure in 1998.
Oehler's three homers also matched his career total entering the game. He had just three homers in his career prior to Sunday.
The Monarchs, who hit a seasonal high five home runs, took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. With one out, Oehler doubled down the rightfield line. Senior Jared Musolf (Manchester H.S./Lakehurst, N.J.) singled him home to give ODU a 1-0 lead. Musolf later scored an unearned run, upping the lead to 2-1.
A solo home run by Tiger sophomore Bobby Paduano (St. Anthony's H.S./Huntington, N.Y.) in the second inning cut the lead to 2-1.
In the fourth inning, Oehler singled with one out and scored on a two-run homer by sophomore shortstop Allen Strick (Mt. St. Joseph H.S./Glen Burnie, Md.). It was Strick's third homer of the season and gave the Monarchs a 4-1 lead.
Oehler's first homer of the game, a two-run shot to right field in the fifth inning put ODU ahead, 6-1. The Monarchs made it 7-1 in the sixth inning when freshman second baseman Jesse Schoendist (C. Milton Wright H.S./Belcamp, Md.) hit a solo home run down the right field line, the first homer of his college career.
The Tigers' bats came to life in their half of the sixth inning. Senior Gregg Davies (Sherwood H.S./Olney, Md.) led off with a double. Senior Scott Bacon (Elkton H.S./Elkton, Md.) drew a walk to put two runners on before an infield single by Paduano loaded the bases.
One of eight Tiger seniors making his final home appearance, senior catcher Casey Stidham (Severna Park H.S./Severna Park, Md.) smashed a grand slam home run to left center field, cutting ODU's lead to 7-5. It was the 10th homer of the season for Stidham and the 32nd of his career, tying him for third place on Towson's all-time list.
In the seventh inning, Oehler homered off the scoreboard in right field to give Old Dominion an 8-5 lead. The Tigers answered in the bottom of the seventh inning when sophomore shortstop Brian McKenna (Watkins Mill H.S./Germantown, Md.) led off with a solo home run.
After a one-out walk to junior Kevin Snapp (Cypress C.C./Yorba Linda, Cal.) in the ninth inning, Oehler hit his third homer, a two-run shot to right field, giving ODU a 10-6 lead.
The Tigers, who rallied from an 8-5 deficit to pull out a 9-8 win on Saturday, threatened in the ninth inning against junior righthander Kevin Evans (Shawnee H.S./Shamong, N.J.). Senior Curtis Lester (Stephen Decatur H.S./Berlin, Md.) led off with a single. With one out, he advanced to third base on Davies' double, his third of the game. A two-out walk to sophomore Mike Costello (Archbishop Curley H.S./Baltimore, Md.) loaded the bases, bringing Paduano to the plate as the tying run.
However, Evans retired Paduano on a long fly ball to left centerfield, a shot that was caught five feet in front of the fence by junior centerfielder Ryan Harvey (Riverside C.C./Riverside, Cal.).
Freshman righthander James Burok (Valley View H.S./Archbald, Pa.) earned the win for the Monarchs, upping his record to 4-4 while Evans recorded his second save.
Musolf and Strick each had three of the Monarchs' 13 hits in the game. Davies, now hitting .434 on the season, had four hits, including three doubles, for the Tigers. McKenna and Paduano each added a pair of hits.
With Towson and ODU eliminating each other this weekend, the six-team field for the CAA Tournament is now set. James Madison, North Carolina-Wilmington, George Mason, Delaware, Virginia Commonwealth and William & Mary will make up the tournament field. The Monarchs travel to Liberty Tuesday night for a 7 p.m. game in Lynchburg, then host Duke on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. before completing the season this weekend against James Madison.
Old Dominion 10, Towson 6
Old Dominion 0 2 0 2 2 1 1 0 2 - 10 13 0 Towson 0 1 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 - 6 11 2
WP: James Burok, 4-4. LP: Andy Hampton, 1-3. SAVE: Kevin Evans (2). 2B: ODU - John Oehler TOW - Gregg Davies 3. HR: ODU - John Oehler 3, Allen Strick, Jesse Schoendist TOW - Casey Stidham, Bobby Paduano, Brian McKenna.