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Late Rally Falls Short in Monarchs' Loss to the Dukes


NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion Baseball's rally in the bottom of the ninth inning fell short as James Madison evened the Royal Rivalry series with a 7-5 final on Saturday afternoon at Bud Metheny Ballpark.

The Monarchs (17-17, 6-8 Sun Belt) entered the home half of the ninth trailing 7-2 after the Dukes (21-13, 7-7) manufactured two insurance runs on three hits and a walk in the top of the frame. With one out, Kyle Edwards singled to the gap in right before Steven Meier hit a two-run blast to right field to cut the deficit to 7-4. Luke Waters followed with a double down the right-field line before JMU brought in reliever Joe Vogatsky.  The right hander was able to get Alex Bouche to fly out to center field, but Kenny Levari followed with a base hit to center to bring in Waters. ODU couldn't keep the offense going though as Jackson Tone grounded out to Vogatsky to end the game.

ODU starter Blake Morgan (2-1) was handed the loss after giving up three runs, two of them earned, on two hits and two walks while striking out a pair in 2.2 innings. Ben Moore recorded four strikeouts but was tagged for one run on four hits and two walks in three innings out of the pen. Vincent Bashara threw 1.2 innings and was responsible for one run two hits and a walk, and Marco Levari surrendered two runs on three hits and a base on balls through one inning of work.

Waters batted 3-for-5 with a double, one run scored, and one RBI. TJ Aiken had ODU's other multi-hit effort as he went 2-for-4 and added one run and one RBI to his totals. Jake Ticer doubled in his only at bat, Meier finished 1-for-5 with the two-run homer, and Levari also hit 1-for-5 with an RBI.

JMU was the first to score with a three-run top of the third. Jason Schiavone drew a leadoff walk and moved up on a Wyatt Peifer sacrifice bunt. Kyle Langley then singled to left field and Fenwick Trimble scored the pair with a double to left center. Trimble advanced to third on a ground out to first and then made it a 3-0 lead as Coleman Calabrese reached on a Levari throwing error to first base.

ODU got a run back in the home half of the third as Aiken singled to second base, moved up to third on a couple of ground outs, and scored on a Waters single to short. The freshman outfielder then trimmed the JMU lead to 3-2 in the fourth inning. After Maverick Stallings reached on a JMU fielding error, Rowan Masse laid down a sac bunt and Evan Holman grounded out to third to put Stallings 90 feet from home. Aiken came through with a single back up the middle.

The visitors pulled ahead 4-2 in the sixth as Waters mishandled a Calabrese double to right center, allowing him to reach third on the error and then come around on a Ryan Dooley hit up the middle. The Monarchs looked like they had something going in the bottom of the frame as Masse walked and Holman hit a ground-rule double down the left-field line. ODU couldn't cash in though as Aiken grounded out to first, Bryce Jones was caught in a rundown after trying to score on a potential wild pitch, and Edwards went down swinging.

Calabrese did more damage in the eighth as he singled, advanced to third on a sac bunt and wild pitch, and scored on a Mason Dunaway base hit to right.

The series win will be up for grabs on Sunday with a 1 p.m. scheduled start to the rubber match.