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Monarchs Split Home-and-Home Series with No. 9 East Carolina


GREENVILLE, N.C. – Old Dominion baseball had the tying run at first base with two outs in the top of the ninth, but No. 9 East Carolina held on for a 7-5 final on Wednesday night at Clark-LeClair Stadium as the teams split their home-and-home series.
Trailing 7-4 heading into the final inning, Kyle Edwards gave the Monarchs (16-16) some life with a one-out solo home run to right field. After Steven Meier went down swinging for the second out, Luke Waters doubled down the left-field line and ECU elected to intentionally walk Alex Bouche. ODU was unable to keep the rally going though as Kenny Levari went down swinging to end the game.
Lincoln Ransom (0-1) took the loss after giving up the go-ahead run on one hit and one walk in 1.2 innings out of the pen. He faced six batters, striking out two. Nick Sulpizio started for the Monarchs and was tagged for three runs, two of them earned, on three hits and a walk in one inning pitched.
Waters went 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base and Bouche hit 2-for-2 with an RBI double and a run, walked twice and was also hit by pitch. Edwards (1-for-3) homered, scored two runs and also drew a couple of walks. Evan Holman drove in a run and scored another in a 1-for-4 outing, Maverick Stallings also went 1-for-4, and Meier and Levari both batted 1-for-5 with an RBI.
"It was a good ball game and our guys competed hard against a very good team on their home field," said ODU Head Coach Chris Finwood. "If we can compete like that, we will have a chance to win most of our games remaining on our schedule. We had a couple chances late and just couldn't come up with a big hit. I thought the top of our order did a really good job offensively and we played really good defense. It was good to see Lincoln throw the ball well tonight. If he pitches like that, he can certainly help us down the stretch."
The Monarchs got off to a quick start with two runs in the top of the first. With two outs and Edwards standing on first after a leadoff walk, ODU executed a hit and run with Edwards racing home on a Bouche double down the right-field line. Levari then brought in Bouche with a base hit back up the middle to make it a 2-0 lead.
ECU pulled ahead with three runs on as many hits and an error in its first turn at the plate. Ryley Johnson walked and Carter Cunningham doubled down the right-field line to place runners in scoring position for the Pirates (25-7). A Jacob Jenkins-Cowart single to right center evened the score at 2-2, he took second on a failed pickoff attempt, and then gave the hosts a 3-2 lead on a Justin Wilcoxen RBI single to second base.
Hunter Cole tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the third after walking, stealing second and coming around on a Holman base knock through the right side. Holman moved up to second on a Nick Mueller ground out to first and put the Monarchs back in front, 4-3, on a Meier single to center field. The Pirates wouldn't go away though as Bristol Carter walked, advanced on a balk and tied the game at 4-4 on a Dixon Williams single in the bottom of the frame.
Neither side scored in the next two innings as Kellen Davis struck out the side in the third and Holman threw out a runner trying to steal to end the fourth. ECU manufactured a run in the fifth, however, as Jenkins-Cowart walked and came around on a Ryan McCrystal double to the gap in left. The Pirates pulled away 7-4 in the seventh as Johnson doubled, reached third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Jenkins-Cowart single through the left side. Jenkins-Cowart then crossed the plate thanks to a couple of wild pitches and a Wilcoxen single to right.
The Monarchs return to Bud Metheny Ballpark this weekend as they host James Madison for a Royal Rivalry series.