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Monarchs Edged by Princeton, 10-8

Bob Bradlee

NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion Baseball had the tying run at the plate, but could not catch Princeton as the Monarchs fell 10-8 to the Tigers on Tuesday afternoon at Bud Metheny Ballpark.
"Have to give the Princeton kids credit for outplaying us in every phase of the game," said ODU Head Coach Chris Finwood. "They certainly outcompeted us all day. Every time we came back, we couldn't stop them from scoring. We made a couple routine errors that hurt us as well. We need to play better tomorrow to have a chance to win. We will see if we can bounce back and play better."

The Monarchs (9-7) went into the ninth inning trailing 8-7, but allowed the guests to push across a pair of insurance runs. After Princeton's Jake Koonin drew a leadoff walk, a failed pickoff attempt allowed him to move up to second and a wild pitch moved him to third. Jake Kernodle then homered to left to push the Tigers' (3-8) lead to 10-7.
For ODU, Evan Holman started off the bottom of the ninth with a double to left center and was pinch run for by Carter Sunderman. After Alex Bouche went down swinging, the freshman from Owensville, Ohio raced home on a Kenny Levari base hit back up the middle. Hunter Cole and TJ Aiken both struck out swinging though and Princeton held on for the win.
The Tigers opened the scoring in the top of the third as Matt Scannell and Jake Bold hit a pair of solo home runs. The guests then tacked on another run in the fourth for a 3-0 advantage. After Jordan Kelly walked, Bryce Gayan skied a ball that fell in no-man's land in left center.
ODU pulled even with three runs on two hits in the bottom half of the fourth. Luke Waters walked and stole second before advancing to third on a Holman single to right field. Levari then walked to load the bases and Jackson Tone doubled to right field for three RBIs.
Momentum shifted back to the Tigers in the fifth however as they pushed across another four runs on three hits and an error. Kyle Vinci drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 4-3 and Koonin drove in another two runs with a hit through the left side of the Monarch defense. A couple batters later, Kernodle hit an RBI single to right as Princeton pulled away, 7-3.
ODU again fought back in the sixth with three runs on as many hits. Nick Mueller singled to right and was pinch ran for by Aiken, who was waved home on a Maverick Stallings singled to the gap in right. Stallings came around on a Steven Meier triple to right and Meier crossed the plate on a Waters ground out to first.
Both teams scored a run in the seventh. Princeton benefited from a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt. For ODU, Levari hit a one-out double to left center and scored on an Aiken single through the right side.
Lincoln Ransom (1-1) was handed the loss after giving up four runs (three earned) on two hits and two walks. Starter Blake Morgan was responsible for three runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out seven in 3.2 innings pitched.

Levari finished 2-for-3 on the day with a double, two runs, two walks and one RBI. Stallings also went 2-for-3, scored a run, drove in one and earned a base on balls, and Holman had ODU's other multi-hit performance as he batted 2-for-5 with a double and one run scored. Tone (1-for-4) collected three RBIs while Aiken (1-for-2) added a swiped bag to his totals.
The two teams are back at The Bud tomorrow for another 3 p.m. game.