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Monarchs beat Thundering Herd 12-2 in Sunday’s rubber match

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – It was a complete team effort from Old Dominion Baseball on Sunday as the Monarchs captured the rubber match, 12-2 over Marshall, for the team’s first road victory of the season.

“For the second Sunday in a row we are ready to play and have won a series,” said ODU Head Coach Chris Finwood. “I’m proud of how we played today. We pitched well, played good defense and had some big hits with two outs. Bryce Jones And Kyle Edwards had big days for us on the board and Trent Buchanan came out big for us out of the bullpen.”

All nine batters in the lineup contributed to the win with at least a single, a run or an RBI. Edwards (2-for-4) hit five RBIs and added a double, two runs and a walk to his total. Jones (2-for-3) drove in three runs, scored again, doubled and also walked. Evan Holman had the other multi-hit outing for the Monarchs (21-18, 9-9 Sun Belt), going 2-for-3 with two runs and one base on balls.

ODU combined to go 10-for-34 (.294), walking eight and being hit by pitches five times.

The Monarchs also had some strong performances on the mound. Buchanan (3-1) retired 12 straight batters and threw 4.2 scoreless frames to earn the victory. The senior from Gig Harbor, Washington allowed just two hits and struck out four. Steven Trone gave up one hit and walked in 1.1 innings in relief while Brandon Pond struck out a pair and retired all three batters he faced in the ninth. Beginner Dylan Brown was tagged for two runs on as many hits in the first inning. He added four strikeouts with one walk in two full innings.

Old Dominion’s attack wasted no time TJ Aiken and Edwards walked and Steven Meier was hit by a pitch to load the bases early in the game. Luke Waters And Jake Ticer followed by a pair of sacrifice flies as the Monarchs went up 2-0. The Thundering Herd (13-26, 6-12) answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Cam Harthan led off with a single up the middle, Owen Ayers walked and AJ Havrilla laid down a sac-bunt to advance both runners. Caden Kaiser then tied the game with a two-RBI single through the right sideline.

The Monarchs retook the lead 3-2 in the top of the second inning when Holman singled and came around on a Jones double to left center. Later in the fourth and with the bases loaded, Aiken carried a pitch for a 4-2 lead. Edwards followed with a two-RBI hit up the middle to extend the lead to 6-2. Marshall had a chance to cut the ODU lead with one out and runners in scoring position at the bottom of the frame. However, Buchanan came in, struck out one batter and fielded a ground ball to end the threat.

ODU loaded the bases again in the fifth on a single by Ticer, Kenny Levari ran and Holman was knocked down. With two outs, Jones hit a 1-1 pitch to left field, bringing in Ticer and Levari for an 8-2 lead. The Herd had another chance to respond with no outs and runners on the corners at the bottom of the frame, but Buchanan induced a pop-up to second base, got the next batter swinging and another batter grounded out to third base.

Jones tapped in on an Edwards sacrifice fly to right to increase the lead to 9-2 in the eighth. ODU then tacked on three more runs in the ninth when an Edwards double brought in Maverick Stallings and Aiken and Edwards ran home with a Meier single up the middle.

The Monarchs are back at Bud Metheny Ballpark on Tuesday, hosting VCU in what will be ODU’s Bark in the Park game at 6 p.m.