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by Pierce Yarberry

Monarchs Drop Series Opener to App State, 5-2

Old Dominion baseball dropped its Sun Belt series opener to App State on Friday, falling 5-2 to the Mountaineers.

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NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion baseball dropped its Sun Belt series opener to App State on Friday, falling 5-2 to the Mountaineers.

App State got off to a quick start as Austin St. Laurent led off the first inning with a double to right center, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and later scored on a CJ Boyd ground out to third. The Monarchs (26-22, 12-13 Sun Belt) were able to knot the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second as Alex Bouche doubled to the gap in right, reached third on a Jake Ticer single to left, and came home on a Maverick Stallings hit that fell in shallow right center. ODU looked to take the lead as a Steven Meier single to left center loaded the bases with one away, but Evan Holman went down swinging and TJ Aiken grounded out to second. 

The Mountaineers (29-16-1, 14-10-1) jumped ahead 3-1 in its next turn at the plate. With one out and runners on the corners, a Braxton Church single through the right side and a Kameron Miller hit back up the middle scored the pair. The visitors looked like they’d manufacture another run in the sixth with one out and runners on the corners, but ODU turned a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning. 

App went up 4-1 in the seventh as Boyd hit a two-out double down the left-field line and scored on a Church single to right field. The Monarchs were able to get the run back in the home half of the inning, though. Holman wore a pitch to start the frame, advanced to second on an Aiken hit up the middle, and took third as Kyle Edwards reached on a fielder’s choice. Luke Waters then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to get ODU back within two, 4-2.

A St. Laurent two-out solo blast in the eighth rounded out the scoring. Old Dominion couldn’t get anything going as the Monarchs went down in order in the eighth and ninth innings. 

Jay Cassady (0-4) took the loss after getting tagged for three runs on four hits and two walks. The Burke, Virginia native recorded two strikeouts but also threw three wild pitches in a 2.1 inning start. Jacob Gomez was responsible for two runs on seven hits and a walk and finished with four strikeouts through five innings out of the pen.

Bouche batted 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored while Stallings also went 2-for-4 with one RBI. Holman contributed a 1-for-2 outing, was hit by pitch and came around once. Meier and Ticer both ended up 1-for-4 while Aiken and Edwards turned in a couple of 1-for-5 efforts for the team’s other two hits.

The teams resume the series tomorrow with first pitch at Bud Metheny Ballpark scheduled for 3 p.m.