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Mace & Crown | March 23, 2018

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ODU Baseball Wins Home Opener Against NSU

ODU Baseball Wins Home Opener Against NSU
Michael High
Contributing Writer

The Old Dominion Monarchs opened their home schedule with a 5-3 victory over cross town rival Norfolk State University Spartans on Thursday, Feb. 25, at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.

“The guys did not play great,” Monarchs head coach Chris Finwood said.

Old Dominion (4-0) jumped out on top when Nick Walker drove the first pitch he saw down the right field line for a triple. Connor Myers, who led off the game with a double, would come in to score. Jason McMurray’s two-out single gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead when Walker came in from third.

Grey Finwood led off the second to record his first career hit. He would later score when Norfolk State (0-4) was unable to turn a double-play on a slow roller off the bat of Zach Rutherford.

Norfolk State would finally get to the Monarchs starter Joey Benitez in the fourth inning. After two quick outs, they struck for two singles, two walks and one double to cut the deficit to 3-2. Benitez would escape with the bases loaded to earn the victory.

home opener

An ODU pitcher at the ODU vs. NSU game on February 25, 2016. Photo by Josh Boone.

“The guys got me an early lead,” Benitez said. “It’s early in the season and no one is in mid-season form yet. I gave them what I had and handed it over to the bullpen.”

Monarchs regained their three run lead when they struck for two in the bottom of the fourth.

The top of the order would set the table. Walker would work a walk after falling behind in the count and Rutherford would single and move to second when the left fielder over ran the ball on the wet turf. Kyle Beam grounded to short to score walker and Rutherford walked home on a two-out single by Kurt Sinnen.

The Spartans would tally one in the seventh inning, but that would be the last threat of the game. The Monarchs bullpen allowed just the one run over the final five innings.

Nick Hartman closed out the game and earned his first save of the season. He retired the final four batters, including fanning two.

McMurray and Rutherford both went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Nick Walker went 2-for-3, including a triple and an RBI.