GREENVILLE, N.C. -
Old Dominion (21-14, 9-7) scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth claiming the first game of the three-game Conference USA series from East Carolina (20-14, 8-5), 7-3, Friday night at Bud Metheny Complex.
With the game knotted at three-all in the eighth, the Monarchs broke the contest open using a pair of extra base hits to go along with three singles for a four-run frame. Josiah Burney’s two-run double down the right field line plated P.J. Higgins and Josh Eldridge, who both singled to start the inning, staking ODU to a 5-3 lead. Taylor Ostrich’s triple to right center easily scored Burney and Chris Livers capped the scoring with an RBI single down the right field line for a 7-3 victory.
Conner Overton (1-1) picked up the win in relief working a scoreless eighth where he allowed just one hit. Starter Andy Roberts went 5.2 innings giving up two runs on five hits, while Dean Ali worked 1.1 innings surrendering a run on two hits. Brad Gero tossed a scoreless ninth with a pair of punch-outs.
Ryan Williams (9-2) was touched for four runs (all earned) on four hits with two strikeouts in one inning out of the bullpen. ECU starter Jeff Hoffman gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts in 6.1 innings. Jacob Wolfe (0.0, H) and Hayden White (0.2 IP, K) closed out the eighth frame.
ODU, who never trailed in the contest, took an early 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI sac fly by Ben Slaton. Tyler Urps led off with a double to right field, took third on Connor Myers sac bunt and trotted home on Slaton’s deep fly ball to center field.
The Monarchs added another run in the fourth when Burney scored on a passed ball pushing the lead to 2-0. Burney, who had two of ODU’s extra base hits, tripled to center sending a long fly ball to the wall, before coming home on the Pirate miscue.
ECU finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Luke Lowery crushed a 1-1 offering from Roberts to left center pulling the Pirates within one, 2-1. For Lowery it was his second homer of the season and sixth of his career.
Ian Townsend’s sac fly in the sixth pulled the Pirates even at two-all. With one out, Drew Reynolds reached on an infield single and move to third on the first of two doubles by Zach Houchins. Townsend stepped to the plate sending a fly ball to right, where Reynolds darted home sliding under the tag at the plate.
ODU jumped back on top 3-2 in the bottom half of the sixth when Higgins singled home Slaton with a shot to center. Slaton led off with a single to right center, moved to second on a wild pitch and crossed home on the second of three Slaton singles on the night.
Hunter Allen’s single to right once again pulled the Pirates even with the Monarchs at three-all in the seventh. Charlie Yorgen started the stanza with a walk and moved over to third on Eric Tyler’s sac bunt and Garrett Brooks’ ground out to first before coming home on Allen’s lone hit of the game.
The Monarchs out hit the Pirates 13-8 in the contest getting multiple hits from Burney (three), Higgins (three) and Slaton (two). For ECU, Brown and Houchins paced the way with two hits each.
Game two of the three-game series will be played Saturday, Apr. 12 at 4 p.m. (ET).