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Monarchs Shut Out the 49ers Sunday to Secure the Series Win


NORFOLK, Va. – Sunday's rubber match went to Old Dominion Baseball as the Monarchs shut out Charlotte 3-0 to secure the series win over the 49ers.

"We pitched really well and made some big defensive plays today," ODU Head Coach Chris Finwood said afterwards. "We did just enough on offense. Had a chance to break the game open in the seventh and weren't able to do it. We have to get a lot tougher and be disciplined at the plate."

ODU starting pitcher Trent Buchanan walked the first batter he faced, but Kyle Edwards and Alex Bouche turned a double play and Buchanan later induced a fly out to left to get out of the inning. The Monarchs (7-4) then manufactured a run in their first turn at the plate as Steven Meier singled up the middle, Luke Waters doubled down the left-field line, and Jake Ticer hit a sacrifice fly to center field.

The 49ers (6-6) looked to even the score in the top of the second. With two outs, Rene Lastres reached on an ODU throwing error and advanced to third on a Juan Correa double to right center. Buchanan didn't flinch though as he got Reid Haire to fly out to Nick Mueller down the left-field line. Kenny Levari then made it a 2-0 ODU lead with a leadoff homer to left, his first of the season, in the bottom half of the frame.

Charlotte had another opportunity to do some damage in the third. Thad Ector drew a one-out walk and reached second on a Brandon Stahlman ground out to first. Noah Furcht then sent a 3-2 pitch to Edwards deep in the hole, and Edwards spun around to try and catch Ector returning to the bag. The throw got past Maverick Stallings and the error put two runners in scoring position. Buchanan plunked Carson Bayne to load the bases, but he got Kaden Hopson to fly out to right as the visitors came up empty yet again.

After Hutson Trobaugh struck out the side in the fifth and Ben Moore did the same in the seventh, the Monarchs added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Mueller led off with a four-pitch walk and was pinch ran for by TJ Aiken, who moved up to second on a wild pitch. Following another walk by Evan Holman, Aiken came around on an Edwards double down the left-field line. ODU could have added to its 3-0 lead with no outs and runners in scoring position, but Charlotte retired the next three Monarch batters.

Bailey Matela came out of the pen and tossed the final two innings, scattering two hits with three strikeouts to pick up the save. Trobaugh received the win after recording three strikeouts with one hit in 1.2 innings of relief. Buchanan limited the 49ers to just three hits and two walks while fanning two through four scoreless innings.

Waters finished 2-for-4 on the day with a pair of doubles. Edwards (1-for-4) doubled and drove in a run, Bouche (1-for-4) also had a two-base knock, and Levari (1-for-4) provided the long ball.

"When you pitch and play defense, you will have a chance to be in most games," continued Finwood. "We have played six close games in a row against quality teams and hopefully we're learning how to win them. I was proud of how our guys competed this weekend."

ODU has a pair of midweek games coming up against William & Mary. The Monarchs will host the Tribe for a 3 p.m. game on Tuesday, then travel to Williamsburg for a 3 p.m. game at Plumeri Park on Wednesday.