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Late Home Run Lifts Rutgers Over ODU, 7-6

Bruce Butler

Alex Bouche

NORFOLK, Va. – Trailing 6-0 in the fifth inning, Old Dominion University Baseball scored six runs to tie the game, but RJ Johnson hit a home run for Rutgers in the sixth inning and that was the difference in a 7-6 win for Rutgers Saturday evening at the Bud Metheny Ballpark.
"We competed better today," ODU Head Coach Chris Finwood said. "I thought we pitched pretty well. We just need to get off to better starts. It was a good college baseball game and we had plenty of chances. Rutgers has a very good team and their bullpen came in and did the job for them."
Old Dominion (3-3) was down 6-0 in the bottom of the fifth and did not have a hit off Rutgers starter Justin Sinibaldi until a leadoff single by Kenny Levari in the fifth. After a Jack Speights ground out, Maverick Stallings walked and Levari scored on a Steven Meier single to make it a 6-1 game. Jack Slater singled to load the bases and Kyle Edwards followed with a two-run single to cut the gap to 6-3. Luke Waters hit into a fielder's choice to put runners on first and third but Alex Bouche hammered a two-run double to left center to make it a 6-5 game. Jake Ticer smacked a single up the middle to score Bouche and tied the game at six.
RJ Johnson was the first batter in the top of the sixth and he hit a 2-0 pitch from Jay Cassady over the right field fence for a 7-6 Scarlet Knights lead, and the eventual final score.
Former ODU pitcher Joey DeChiaro came on to pitch the ninth and walked Evan Holman to lead off the inning. Holman moved to second on a Kyle Edwards sac bunt and to third on a wild pitch. Luke Waters struck out for the second out and after a walk to Bouche, DeChiaro struck out Ticer to end the game. 
Rutgers got off to a strong start for the second-straight game. The Scarlet Knights scored two runs in the first, third and fifth innings to take a 6-0 lead heading into the fifth before ODU tied the score.
Bouche led the ODU offense with a 2-for-4 day at the plate, a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
Dylan Brown started on the mound for the Monarchs, going four innings, allowing six hits and four runs, three earned, with seven strikeouts.
The two teams are back at the Bud tomorrow for the series finale at 1 p.m.