Seven Run First Inning Propels Monarchs Past VMI
The start of Tuesday’s game at the Bud Metheny Complex was far from ordinary for Old Dominion baseball. The Monarchs (17-4) started off a two-game series against VMI (13-10) with the first four batters of the game hit for the cycle. The cycle was the beginning of a 7-run explosion in the first that lead to the 8-2 victory.
Connor Meyers led the game off with a double, his seventh of the season. Zack Rutherford followed with a single and Nick Walker drove them both in with a triple. Catcher Kyle Beam capped off the cycle with his 3rd home run of the season.
“I’ve never seen that before that I can remember. I didn’t know until someone in the dugout told me,” head coach Chris Finwood said.
The Monarch bats were far from done. First basemen Kurt Sinnen got in on the action with a stand up double. Designated hitter Turner Bishop’s infield single scored Sinnen. ODU batted all the way back around to Beam before VMI finally stopped the bleeding. The seven-run inning saw 13 plate appearances from the Monarchs to start the game.
“We have had a knack for some big innings lately. When you get up seven nothing it kind of becomes a boat race if you have some good pitching and Vic gave us another good start,” Finwood said.
Last Saturday, the monarchs had another seven-run inning late in a victory against Western Kentucky. With all the run support he could ask for, starter Victor Diaz turned in another quality start. Diaz went five innings with two strike outs and only surrendering three hits. Diaz improved to 3-1 and his ERA sits at just 1.48.
“He’s throwing strikes for one. He’s mixing his two off-speed pitches and that’s keeping hitters off balance,” Finwood said.
ODU pitching did not give up a run until the sixth inning, and got one right back on a sacrifice fly by backup catcher Chris Livers to make the game 8-1.
Beam showcased more power in the eighth inning with a double only 10 feet away from being his second homer of the day.
“He’s got a lot of power. He is still finding his swing and I think he is still striking out to much but we will take two strikeouts when he’s hitting home runs and doubles,” Finwood said.
The top of the order, aside from leading the game off with the cycle, had themselves a day. Rutherford went 3-4 with an RBI and right fielder Nick Walker went 3-5 with two RBI’s. The Monarchs return to the Bud tomorrow for the second part of the two-game series against the Keydets
“It’s just another home game for us. We have won quite a few and we always want to be tough to beat at home and tomorrow is no exception,” Finwood said