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by Pierce Yarberry

Baseball Wins 14-8 at VCU

VCU made a late charge with four runs in the bottom of the ninth, but Old Dominion baseball held on for a 14-8 victory on Tuesday night at The Diamond.


RICHMOND, Va. – VCU made a late charge with four runs in the bottom of the ninth, but Old Dominion baseball held on for a 14-8 victory on Tuesday night at The Diamond.

TJ Aiken led off the game with a double down the left-field line, but was out at third as Kyle Edwards attempted a sacrifice bunt. Edwards stole second and then scored the first run for the Monarchs (25-21) on a Luke Waters single up the middle.

ODU did some more damage in the second. Alex Bouche started off the frame with a single through the left side and Hunter Cole walked to put runners on first and second. After Maverick Stallings went down swinging, Bryce Jones walked to load the bases, prompting VCU to go to its bullpen. Jack Slater greeted the pitcher with an RBI single to the third baseman, and Cole then made it a 3-0 lead as he scored on an Aiken RBI fielder’s choice.

The Rams (28-19) responded with three runs on as many hits in their next turn at the plate. Eli Weisner and Jake Thilges both homered. Cooper Benzin then earned a base on balls and tied the game at 3-3 on a William Bean double to straightaway center field. ODU retook the lead in the third though as Edwards walked, moved up to third on a Waters base hit to right, and ran home on a Levari ground out to second.

The Monarchs got some separation with another three runs in the fourth. Jones walked, stole second and score on a Slater single to right field. After Aiken also walked, Slater scored from second on a Waters single to left. Aiken moved up to third on a Levari fielder’s choice as VCU erased Waters at second, and Bouche brought in Aiken with a base knock to right for a 7-3 lead. VCU manufactured a run in the bottom of the fifth as Chris McHugh walked and then scored on a Brandon Eike double to center field, but Edwards led off the sixth with a solo shot to right center.

With the bases loaded and with one out in the seventh, VCU’s pitcher fielded an Aiken chopper back towards the mound, but wheeled and air mailed the throw to the plate, allowing Jake Ticer to score on the error. Edwards pushed the lead to 11-4 with a two-RBI single back up the middle. Waters made it 12-4 with an RBI single to left, and Levari put ODU ahead 13-4 as he reached on an RBI fielder’s choice. ODU then tacked on another run in the ninth as the Monarchs loaded the bases with one out and Aiken tagged up on a Levari sac fly to left.

Down to their last three outs, the hosts strung together four runs on five hits in the bottom of the ninth. Devan Zirwas drove in the first run with a double to left center, Ethan Inannuzzi and Bobby Lane added RBI singles, and Benzin brought in Iannuzzi with a sac fly to center field to get VCU to within six. It wouldn’t be enough though as Vincent Bashara recorded a strikeout to bring the game to a close.

Waters finished 5-for-6 on the night and drove in three runs. Edwards homered, scored four runs, had three RBIs, walked twice and stole a base in a 2-for-4 performance. Slater (2-for-4) collected two RBIs and scored twice, Ticer (2-for-2) contributed a double and a run, Aiken (2-for-5) doubled with three runs, one RBI and a walk, and Bouche (2-for-5) added one run, one RBI and one walk to his totals. 

Kellen Davis (4-0) got the win after tossing 1.1 scoreless frames out of the pen. The Monarchs used 10 pitchers in the game and combined for 12 strikeouts. 

ODU is now 7-3 against in-state opponents this season. The team’s final midweek game of the regular season will see them return to Richmond next Tuesday for a 6 p.m. contest against the U of R Spiders.

The Monarchs will be back at Bud Metheny Ballpark this weekend when they host App State for three games. It will be ODU’s final games at The Bud before construction begins on the new Elmer Family Baseball Complex. The team will have a graduation ceremony before first pitch on Saturday and Sunday’s game will mark Senior Day for the Monarchs.