ODU Opens 80th Season At Home Friday Against Saint Joseph's At 3 p.m.
By ODU Athletics
Feb. 15, 2011
The 2011 Old Dominion University Monarchs return eight starters, 18 lettermen along with 12 newcomers as they prepare for series opener this Friday against the Hawks of St. Joseph's in the 80th season of ODU Baseball. When the fans come to the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex, they will notice some improvements to the park.
Leading the returnees is first team All-CAA pitcher Kyle Hald (Sr./LHP/8-4/ 2.79 ERA), who led the CAA in strikeouts with 95 along with two shutouts, and honorable mention All-CAA firstbaseman Chris Baker (Deep Creek HS) who begins the season with a 28-game hitting streak, third longest in the NCAA last season, behind Ronnie Freeman (30) of Kennesaw State and Garrett Wittels (54) at Florida International, and two shy of the ODU mark set by Anthony Forrelli during the 1997-1998 seasons.
"We have a good blend of experience along with 12 newcomers," said ODU interim head coach Nate Goulet. "Six position players return, but we need to fill some holes on the left side of the infield with the loss of All-CAA third baseman Jake McAloose (.329 BA/9 HR/34 RBI) and shortstop Chris Buss (.304 BA/6 HR/43 RBI). "
Josh Wright (RS-JR./.265 BA/7 HR/ 29 RBI) will move to shortstop, Brandon Shelton (Jr/.268 BA) will start second base and junior Brent Frazier at thirdbase with red-shirt sophomore Shawn Sizemore at designated hitter. Behind the plate, the Monarchs will have veteran Edgar Hernandez (Sr./.247 BA.) along with junior Josh Tutwiler.
"On the mound, we've lost some key guys to injures, but Kyle Hald will be our Friday guy, followed by another veteran Ben Tomchick (Jr./RHP/4-6/7.12 ERA) from Princess Anne ," says Goulet. Freshman Dean Ali (Indian River) and junior Phil McCarthy (Great Bridge) will also be vying for starting spots. In the bullpen senior Adam Wisniewski (Granby HS), Mike Ney and senior Joe Haumacher will also be looked on as anchors.
Monarch newcomers include freshmen Joey Burney (INF/Gloucester HS/Gloucester, VA.), Jared Lipscombe (INF./ Hanover HS/ Mechanicsville, VA.); Ty Yesensky (Inf/Maine-Endwell HS/Endwell, NY.); Ryan Ramirez (RHP/Kempsville HS/Virginia Beach, Va.); Brandon Stahl (INF./St. Dominic HS/East Norwich, NY.) Dean Ali (RHP/Indian River HS/ Chesapeake, VA.); Louis Singleton (RHP/Granby HS/Norfolk, VA.); Ben Verlander (RHP/INF/Goochland HS/Maidens, VA.). Junior College newcomers include Josh Tutwiler (C/Jackson State CC/Bridgewater, VA.) and Mike Ney (RHP/Gloucester CO./Landisville NJ.)
After the opening weekend ODU will compete in The Citadel Challenge against Wright State and the host Bulldogs. The Monarchs will host Penn State in a two-game series as well as BIGEAST power Rutgers. ODU will play home and away series with Elon, East Carolina and Richmond.
The CAA schedule will have home three-game series against William & Mary, Northeastern, Towson, George Mason and UNC Wilmington. The Monarchs will travel to James Madison, VCU, Georgia State Delaware and Hofstra. The top four teams advance to the CAA Tournament in Wilmington, NC, May 25-27.
"Mentally, the team can't wait to get out there and play against someone else," said Goulet. "I can't thank my staff enough. Tag Montague, Tim LaVigne and Justin Haywood. I lean on them a lot. They really have helped me grow into a head coach have a great relationship with our players."
The four-game series with St. Joseph's begins Friday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. There will be a doubleheader Beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday and a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets for home games are $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for ODU faculty staff, military and senior citizens.
NOTE: Steve Tonelson, son of ODU Hall of Famer and opening day pitcher 30 years ago for the Norfolk Division Rufus Tonelson is scheduled to throw out the first pitch Friday.
IMPROVEMENTS TO THE BUD AND RALLY ALLEY When fans come to the Bud Metheny Baseball complex this year, they will notice some Upgrades to the facility.
Rally Alley-Located along the first base line, the hospitality area is open every game to all fans. Rally Alley will offer food and adult beverages to purchase as well as family entertainment. Brick façade behind home plate along with a new screen which runs from the third base side to the first base side. There are chair back seats in the stands behind home plate and a new batter's eye in center field. There are also new lockers in the players clubhouse, and upgrades to the public restrooms.
HOME GAME PROMOTIONS.Baseball Bingo-This is a new game that will be played during every Friday home game. The first 100 fans will receive a bingo card featuring different game-type situations. The first fan to get five in a row in any direction (down, across, or diagonal) will receive a prize. Giveaway Saturdays-At every Saturday home game during the season, fans will receive a giveaway item while supplies last. So arrive early to ensure yourself a prize!
Kids Day at the Ballpark-Every Sunday home game is Kids Day at the ballpark. Any youth wearing a baseball league jersey will receive free admission to the game. Each Sunday a new youth team will be selected to run on the field with the team during the National Anthem. Also, run the bases after the game is over!
Date Opponent Time Giveaway 19-Feb St. Josephs (DH) 1:00 Slap Koozies 5-Mar Fairfield (DH) 1:00 Stress Ball Key chains 12-Mar William and Mary 2:00 Cinch Bags 19-Mar Northeastern 4:00 Slap Koozies 9-Apr Towson 4:00 Trucker Caps 23-Apr George Mason 4:00 Stress Ball Key chains 14-May UNC-Wilmington 4:00 Cinch Bags