Monarchs Sweep Rice
Harry Howard Jr. | Sports Editor
In their first Conference USA series of the season, the Monarch baseball team hosted Rice in a three-game series at the Bud Metheney Complex. Due to forecasted rain, they played a doubleheader Friday, winning the first game 6-5 and the second 3-2. The victories gave ODU’s head coach Chris Finwood his 400th career win.
Rice took a 3-0 lead after three innings in the first game before Sam Sinnen locked on the mound for the Monarchs. Sinnen allowed six hits and struck out four before exiting his counterpart Matt Caterino was just as effective matching Sinnen seven innings.
“He’s starting to come around and he looked really sharp tonight. We’re going to need that from him for the rest of the season if we want to do anything in the postseason,” ODU pitcher Adam Bainbridge said about Sinnen’s performance.
ODU would cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the third on Jared Young first home run of his career and Vinnie Pasquantino RBI ground out. The score would remain 3-2 until the eighth inning when the Owl rallied drove two men home to extend their lead to 5-2.
With a three-run lead Rice brought in their preseason All-American Glenn Otto to close out the game but he blew it allowing four runs in two innings. Pasquantino came to the plate in the ninth inning with the bases loaded and hit a sacrifice fly to give the Monarchs their third walk-off win of the season.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Adam Bainbridge started for ODU striking out six batters in 8.1 innings.
“It was a good performance for me I was able to use my fastball on both sides of the plate and get into righties and lefties,” Bainbridge said.
A Zach Rutherford double in the first inning gave the Monarchs an early 1-0 lead. They held that lead until the top of the fourth inning when Rice scored their only two runs of the contest with three straight hits. ODU went on to tie the game in the sixth inning before ultimately scoring the winning run in the seventh inning on a wild pitch that enabled Kurt Sinnen to cross the plate.
ODU (15-4, C-USA 3-0) completed the sweep with a 2-0 victory. Freshman John Wilson started for the Monarchs striking out four batters in 6.2 innings and giving up only three hits. Wilson is now 4-0 this season with a 2.57 earned run average. He got out of trouble in the third inning when he allowed back to back hits and was able to cruise through the rest of the game before handing the ball over to Morgan Maguire. Maguire threw one inning and Craig Lopez relieved him to get the save.
Freshman outfield Kyle Battle drove Jared Young home with a single in the fourth inning and Vinnie Pasquantino scored on a Rice (6-16, C-USA 0-3) error in the second inning for the only Monarch runs of the game.
ODU will be heading to Texas for a three-game series against UTSA March 24-26.