|Diamond Niners Drop Opener 7-2 at Old Dominion|
NORFOLK, Va. – Host Old Dominion scored all seven runs throughout the first four innings to cruise to a 7-2 victory over Charlotte in Conference USA baseball action on Friday afternoon. The Monarchs belted a season-high six doubles in the win to help keep the Niners winless in league play.
The Monarchs (15-10, 5-5 C-USA) struck right off the bat with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Nick Walker drew a leadoff walk and would move to second on Jordan Negrini’s sacrifice bunt. Ben Slaton would promptly follow with a single through the right side on the first pitch to score Walker with the game’s first run. Josiah Burney delivered a double to left-center to plate Slaton just three pitches later for the 2-0 ODU advantage.
Old Dominion extended the lead to three in the second as a one-out double by Mike Perez paid off to hitters later on Walker’s sacrifice fly to left. ODU tacked on one more in the third as Taylor Ostrich’s two-out double to right-center brought in Slaton motoring around from first.
The early offensive output continued into the fourth as Old Dominion tacked on three more runs to push the lead out to 7-0. Walker would bring home the first tally on a bunt single to second before Slaton and Burney continued their tear with a RBI single to center and sacrifice fly to right.
Charlotte (5-17-1, 0-10 C-USA) would tack on their two runs in the eighth as Derek Gallello began the inning by reaching on an error at short. Mikal Hill followed with his second hit of the day lining a double to right before back-to-back groundouts by Corbin Shive and Des Roberts brought both home accounting for the lone pair of runs Friday afternoon.
Old Dominion would out-hit Charlotte 11-8 in the series-opener as Hill, along with Logan Sherer and Brett Lang, each had two hits for the Niners. Slaton paced the Monarchs offense going 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Ryan Yarbrough (2-4) picked up the win on the mound tossing eight strong innings allowing two unearned runs on eight hits while fanning three.
“We were playing uphill from the first inning of the game,” commented Head Coach Loren Hibbs. “Old Dominion has a good club. They’ve got some older guys that really performed well for them. We just didn’t perform at the level that we have in the last three of four games.”
Charlotte and Old Dominion will engage in the middle game of the three-game set on Saturday, weather permitting, starting at 3:00 p.m. RHP Ryan Butler (1-3, 2.90) gets the ball for the Niners while RHP Tommy Alexander (1-0, 3.86) will toss for the Monarchs. All multimedia links will be available through http://www.charlotte49ers.com with live, in-game updated provided via Twitter by following @49erGameDay and @Charlotte49ers.