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Monarchs Fall in Series Finale at No. 20 Coastal Carolina

Bruce Butler

CONWAY, S.C. – Old Dominion baseball could not replicate its offensive outburst from Saturday as the Monarchs dropped Sunday's rubber match at No. 20 Coastal Carolina, 10-0 in eight innings.

The Chanticleers (22-9, 7-5 Sun Belt) had their first two batters reach on walks to start the bottom of the first, but ODU starter Dylan Brown settled down and retired the next three batters he faced. However, he could not get out of the second inning unscathed. After Graham Brown and Chad Born both singled, a Dean Mihos sacrifice bunt moved them into scoring position. Sam Antonacci walked to load the bases, Derek Bender drew another walk to open the scoring, and Blake Barthol singled in two more runs for a 3-0 lead. Caden Bodine then scored Bender from third with a double to right center, but ODU's throw home was in time to get Barthol out at the plate.

Coastal Carolina pushed across another three runs in the bottom of the third. After another two walks and a sac bunt put runners on second and third, Mihos hit an RBI single to left field and then stole second. Ty Barrango followed with a sac fly to left, and Mihos gave the home team a 7-0 lead as he scored from second on an Antonacci base hit to right.

ODU brought in Ben Moore with two outs in the bottom of the third and the sophomore from Frederick, Maryland was also to retire eight straight Chanticleer batters. He retired the side in the fourth and fifth innings and induced a couple of fly outs to begin the sixth, but got into trouble after walking Antonacci. A wild pitch and a Bender base hit to right pushed the deficit to 8-0.

The Monarchs (16-15, 5-7) needed some offense to keep the game going, but went down in order in the seventh and eighth innings. In the home half of the eighth, Luke Waters looked to track down a deep fly ball on the warning track, but could not make the play as the ball hit out of his glove. The error allowed the Coastal runner to advance to third, and he would tag up on a sac fly to right. Marco Levari hit the next two batters, and the final run came home as a fly ball hit off of Jack Speights' glove in left field.

Brown (1-3) took the loss after getting tagged for four runs on three hits and four walks through 1.2 innings pitched. Nick Sulpizio was responsible for three runs on one hit and two walks in 0.2 innings in relief, Moore gave up one run on two hits and a walk through 3.1 innings, and Levari allowed two unearned runs while recording one out in the final frame.

Waters, Kenny Levari and Evan Holman each went 1-for-3 for the team's three hits in the game.

The Monarchs will have a couple of days to prepare for No. 12 East Carolina. ODU and ECU continue their home-and-home series with a 6 p.m. game at Clark-LeClair Stadium this Wednesday.