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Old Dominion Uses Five-Run Fourth Inning To Get Past Baseball, 9-5

Feb. 21, 2009

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Marshall received home runs from senior centerfielder Nate Lape and freshman designated hitter Thor Meeks, but Old Dominion used a five-run fourth inning to help lift the Monarchs to a 9-5 victory over the Thundering Herd in Saturday morning's baseball game at Gene Hooks Field at Wake Forest Baseball Stadium.

With the loss, Marshall moves to 2-1 on the season, while Old Dominion improves to 1-1 overall following the series split.

Down 9-4 in the top of the ninth, Marshall received a leadoff pinch-hit double to right field by freshman Eric Semeniuk. Semeniuk then moved to third on a wild pitch. A one-out RBI ground out by freshman pinch-hitter Alfredo Brito sent Semeniuk home with the Herd's fifth run, but fly out to left field sealed the game for Old Dominion.

Old Dominion right-hander Brett Harris pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits en route to his first win of the season. Herd sophomore right-handed starter Shane Farrell suffered the loss.

Marshall wasted no time getting started, scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Senior left fielder Brandon Casamassima ripped a one-out double to left field and moved to third on a fly out, before sophomore third baseman Victor Gomez drove him home with an RBI single up the middle, giving the Herd a 1-0 advantage.

In the bottom half of the first, Old Dominion responded when Max Most drew a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error, before trotting home on a one-out two-run blast to deep left field from Jake McAloose, putting the Monarchs in front 2-1. Farrell gave up one more hit in the frame but escaped further damage.

Old Dominion continued with the hot bats in the bottom of the second stanza when Josh Wright led off with a bunt single down the third base line, stole second and then came around to score on a one-out double to left field off the bat of his brother Austin Wright, extending the Monarchs' lead to 3-1. Austin Wright then advanced to third on a groundout to second base and Gerard Hall earned a walk and moved to second on a stolen base, but neither could get further as Farrell fanned McAloose to end the threat.

In the bottom of the third, Farrell locked in and delivered a 1-2-3 inning, capped by his second strikeout of the day.

In the top of the fourth, junior first baseman Josh Valle drew a leadoff walk and came full circle when Meeks launched his second home run of the season, a two-run shot deep into center field, knotting the contest at 3-3. Harris retired the next two batters before sophomore right fielder Ben Jurevicius ripped a laser shot to third, but a groundout to shortstop ended the inning.

The home half of the fourth saw Old Dominion answer with five runs when Josh Wright earned a free pass to lead off the inning. John Malbon drove him home with an RBI double down the left field line, before Austin Wright, reached on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt, which sent Malbon home. Wright went to second on the throw home. Hall then ripped a one-out single into right field sending Wright to third. Both runners then came around to score when McAloose reached on an infield fielding error, giving Old Dominion at 7-3 lead. McAloose then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI ground out by Joe Velleggia, giving the Monarchs an 8-3 lead after four innings.

Farrell was replaced by redshirt senior southpaw Andrew Blain in the bottom of the fifth who delivered three scoreless innings of relief.

Trailing 8-3 in the top of the eighth inning, Lape drilled his second home run of the season to deep left field, a solo shot that cut the Old Dominion lead to 8-4. However, Monarchs' right-handed reliever, Brady Burchill who entered to start the frame, was able to retire the next three batters in order.

In the bottom of the eighth, Old Dominion got the run back when Most reached on an infield throwing error, and then advanced to third following two wild pitches. An infield single by McAloose with two outs brought Most home, before Blain induced an inning-ending fly out.

Blain pitched four strong innings of relief for Marshall, giving up just one unearned run on three hits while striking out two batters.

Lape was the only Herd batter to collect multiple hits, while Meeks provided for two RBIs on the day.

Marshall concludes Wake Forest Tournament action Sunday, Feb. 22 at 2:30 p.m. ET when it takes on Wake Forest. Junior right-hander Dan Straily will take the mound for the Herd.