All Sports Schedule

Monarchs Down JMU, 6-3 to Win the Townebank Royal Rivalry Series


NORFOLK, Va. Trent Buchanan and Kellen Davis pitched out of some tight spots, Luke Waters and Maverick Stallings each hit two-run home runs, and Old Dominion Baseball claimed Sunday's rubber match 6-3 to secure a Royal Rivalry series win over James Madison.

"Trent, Kellen and of course Jacob Gomez came through for us big today," said ODU Head Coach Chris Finwood. "The bullpen was fantastic again. We had some big at bats early with Luke and Mav hitting two-run homers and we made some good plays on defense."

The Dukes (21-14, 7-8 Sun Belt) quickly loaded the bases to start the second inning as Coleman Calabrese singled to third, Ryan Dooley was hit by a pitch and Brendan O'Donnell walked. Enter Buchanan, a right hander from Gig Harbor, Washington. The senior recorded back-to-back strikeouts and then induced a fly out to center field to keep the visitors off the scoreboard.

The Monarchs (18-17, 7-8) then jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Alex Bouche led off with a walk, moved up to third base on a Kenny Levari single to the gap in right, and scored as Evan Holman reached on a fielding error by Calabrese at first base. After Buchanan retired the side in order in the top of the third, ODU went up 3-0 as Steven Meier was plunked and stole second before Waters sent a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left center.

JMU threatened again in the fourth as Dooley walked and advanced to third on an O'Donnell double to center field. With one out, the Monarchs brought in Davis and the redshirt sophomore from Media, Pennsylvania struck out one batter and got the next to pop up to Jake Ticer at first. In the home half of the frame, Hunter Cole was hit by a pitch and Stallings pushed the lead to 5-0 with a line-drive two-run shot to left.

ODU added one more run in the sixth. Cole started off the inning with a base hit to center field, Stallings wore a pitch off the elbow and the pair moved into scoring position on a TJ Aiken sacrifice bunt. A Kyle Edwards sac fly to left brought in Cole to make it a 6-0 Monarch lead.

Gomez entered the game in the top of the fifth and retired the first seven JMU batters he faced. He finally gave up a single in the top of the seventh, but recorded three strikeouts in the inning. The Dukes trimmed the ODU lead to 6-3 in the eighth as Fenwick Trimble hit a two-run shot to straightaway center and Calabrese added a solo home run to left, but that was all of the offense JMU was able to manufacture.

Buchanan (2-1) got the decision after holding the guests to one hit and one walk with two strikeouts in 2.1 scoreless innings of work. Gomez earned his sixth save of the season and his third straight. The lefty from Rutherford, New Jersey allowed three runs on five hits, didn't issue a walk, and struck out seven in five complete innings pitched.

Stallings finished 1-for-2 with the long ball and Waters went 2-for-4 with his team-leading eighth home run of the season. Levari also posted a 2-for-4 effort at the plate, Bryce Jones batted 1-for-1, and Edwards and Meier both drove in a run.

"I was proud of our guys' grit today," continued Finwood. "I asked them to just fight like crazy. This was a big game and keeps us right in the middle of things at the halfway point in Sun Belt play."

The Monarchs have a quick turnaround as they host No. 11 Virginia in the Commonwealth Classic this Tuesday. First pitch at Harbor Park is scheduled for 6 p.m. with gates open to the public at 5 p.m.