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Early Offense, Strong Pitching Help Monarchs Even Series Versus Charlotte

Bruce Butler

NORFOLK, Va. – A three-run bottom of the first helped Old Dominion baseball pull even in its series with Charlotte as the Monarchs defeated the 49ers, 4-1 on Saturday afternoon at Bud Metheny Ballpark.
"It was a good ball game," said ODU Head Coach Chris Finwood. "We pitched very well and got a few big hits. Been an even series so far with a big game tomorrow."

Originally scheduled for a 2 p.m. start, Saturday's game was moved back to 4 p.m. due to rain in the area throughout the morning.
ODU starting pitcher Dylan Brown kept the visitors in check for over four innings, retiring the first 10 batters he faced. The Monarchs (6-4) provided him with some early offense, plating three runs on as many hits and one error in the team's first turn at the plate. Kyle Edwards led off with a single to left then moved up to second on a Steven Meier ground out to second base. Luke Waters then hit a fly ball that hit off the Charlotte right fielder's glove, allowing Waters to move up to second and Edwards to come home. Later in the inning, Kenny Levari and Jackson Tone provided a pair of RBI singles to push the lead to 3-0.
The 49ers (6-5) applied some pressure in the top of the fourth as Noah Furcht hit a one-out double to the gap in right before Rene Lastres and Carson Bayne drew back-to-back walks. Charlotte couldn't cash in on the opportunity though as Johnny Sutryk went down swinging and Edwards fielded a ground ball and stepped on second base for the force out.
ODU made it 4-0 with another run in the seventh. Carter Sunderman hit a leadoff single down the left-field line, stole second, and was waved home on an Edwards base knock to left. The play at the plate was close, but Sunderman slid in safely for the first run of his career.

Charlotte broke up the shutout in the top of the ninth. After Bayne doubled to right center and Kaden Hopson drew a two-out walk, Stahlman drove in Bayne with a double down the left-field line. Jacob Gomez then induced a fly ball to center field that Meier squeezed for the final out.

It was a no decision for Brown, who struck out seven through 4.1 scoreless frames. He held the 49ers to just one hit and issued two walks. Lincoln Ransom (1-0) earned the win, giving up just one hit in 1.2 innings in relief, and Gomez picked up his third save in three complete innings of work. He was responsible for one run on two hits and a walk while fanning five.
At the plate, Alex Bouche went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a base on balls. Edwards finished 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI, and Sunderman hit 1-for-2 while adding one run, one walk and one swiped bag to his totals.
The win sets up a 1 p.m. rubber match at The Bud on Sunday.