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Monarchs Claim Series Win, Defeat the Eagles 11-1 Saturday

Bruce Butler

NORFOLK, Va. – For the second day in a row, Old Dominion Baseball run-ruled Georgia Southern 11-1 as the Monarchs captured their first Sun Belt series win of the season on Saturday. ODU needed eight innings to get the win on Friday, but needed just seven to win this weekend's second meeting.

ODU got off to another quick start with four runs on as many hits in the bottom of the first. Kyle Edwards and Steven Meier got the Monarchs (12-7, 2-0 Sun Belt) started with back-to-back doubles to start the frame. Meier moved up to third on a Luke Waters ground out and then made it 2-0 on an Evan Holman single back up the middle. Alex Bouche drew a five-pitch walk and Kenny Levari pushed the lead to 4-0 on a two-base hit to right center.

Bryce Jones added an insurance run in the bottom of the second. The Virginia Beach native hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line, took third on a ground out, and scored on a Waters single to left. The Monarchs then poured on another six runs in the fifth as Bouche drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single to center field. Levari and Jake Ticer then went back-to-back as Levari hit a three-run home run to right field and Ticer hit a solo blast off the scoreboard.

The Eagles (8-10, 0-2) broke up the shutout with a run in the top of the seventh. With two outs and runners on the corners, a wild pitch allowed the visitors to scratch across their lone run. GS earned a base on balls and the next batter hit a ball to deep right, but it stayed in the park as Waters made the catch for the final out.

"The guys showed up ready to play again," said ODU Head Coach Chris Finwood. "We had a bunch of big hits and Levari had a big day at the plate for us with five RBIs. We're back at it tomorrow and we know we will have to play with the same competitive spirit to have a chance to win!"

Dylan Brown started and threw 3.2 scoreless innings, holding the Eagles to just one hit and one walk. He recorded two strikeouts and also hit three batters. Kellen Davis (2-0) got the win after striking out the only batter he faced, Brandon Pond finished with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings in relief and was responsible for one run on three hits and two walks, and Lincoln Ransom came out of the bullpen to help record the final out. The group held the Eagles to just four hits.

Eight ODU batters combined for 11 hits in the win. Levari (2-for-3) drove in five runs with the long ball and a double. Jones also went 2-for-3 with two doubles and one run scored, and Waters turned in a 2-for-4 effort with one double, one run and one RBI.

The series wraps up tomorrow with a 1 p.m. first pitch at The Bud.