NORFOLK, Va. -- The Old Dominion baseball team won the series against the UAB Blazers (2-1) after splitting the Saturday doubleheader at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. The Monarchs took game one, 7-4, but fell to UAB 6-3 in game two. Old Dominion tied its win output from last season and currently stands at 27-17 overall and 10-11 in Conference USA action. UAB moved to 18-24 overall and 10-11 in the league.
In game one, Zach Rutherford picked up his second consectutive three-hit contest, as he finished 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Jason McMurray and Nick Lustrino both recorded two hits, while McMurray also added two runs and a RBI to his stat line. Starting pitcher Victor Diaz earned the win after pitching 6.1 innings with three strikeouts. He allowed eight hits and four runs (three earned) after facing 30 batters. Three Blazers recorded two hits, while Jared Nixon added two RBIs to his stat line.
With ODU leading 3-2 in the bottom of the third and the bases loaded, Nick Walker drew the walk to give the Monarchs the 4-2 edge. Rutherford followed with a single to right field and advanced to second after two runs scored, giving Old Dominion the 6-3 advantage. The Monarchs got one more run in the bottom of the fourth to increase their lead to 7-2, but the Blazers began to mount a comeback in the top of the seventh. UAB scored two runs on three hits, but relief pitcher Nick Hartman ended the Blazers' threat by retiring the two batters he faced. Hartman then retired the final six UAB batters, which included two strikeouts, to help the Monarchs secure the game one victory.
The Blazers led for the first time all weekend in game two, after taking a 3-1 advantage over the Monarchs in the top of the third inning. Old Dominion fought back to tie the game by the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring a run in the fifth and sixth. In the bottom of the fifth, Connor Myers singled up the middle on a 0-1 count to score Rutherford from second, pulling ODU within one run (3-2). Nick Lustrino moved the runners to second and third after laying down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the sixth, giving catcher Chris Livers the chance to hit a hard grounder to the second baseman that scored Will Morgan from third base.
The ninth inning is where UAB took control of the game, scoring three runs on two hits and one ODU error. The Blazers faced four different Old Dominion pitchers, but managed to get three runs across while holding ODU scoreless in the bottom of the frame to earn the win.
Six different Monarchs registered a hit on the night, while Myers, McMurray and Livers each recorded a RBI. Jake Josephs was hit with the loss, as he allowed the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. Jacob Armstrong paced the Blazers with a 3-for-3 showing with a run scored.
The Monarchs are back in action next weekend at Charlotte for a three-game series against the 49ers. All three games will be broadcast on STAR 1310 with Ted Alexander on the call. Each contest will also be streamed live through charlotte49ers.com, while live stats will be available here once each contest begins.
DH Game One || UAB| 011 000 200 - 4 8 1 ODU| 123 100 00X - 7 11 1
UAB| Ryan Ruggles, Dylan Munger (3), Stephen Baggett (6) ODU| Victor Diaz, Nick Hartman (7)
Win| Victor Diaz (6-3) Loss| Ryan Ruggles (5-3) Save| Nick Hartman (5)
DH Game Two || UAB| 003 000 003 - 6 9 1 ODU| 100 011 000 - 3 6 2
UAB| Kyle Davis, Garrett Whitlock (5), Thomas Lowery (8) ODU| Joey Benitez, Culver Lamb (5), Jake Josephs (8), Brett Smith (9), Grayson Bailey (9), Thomas Busbice (9)
Win| Thomas Lowery (1-3) Loss| Jake Josephs (2-2) Save| None
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