ODU takes series finale with JMU, 6-5
Old Dominion took advantage of an error to break a tie with two unearned runs in the seventh inning and went on to defeat James Madison 6-5 in the final game of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on Sunday afternoon at the Bud Metheny Complex.
ODU improved to 13-24 overall and 4-11 in the CAA while avoiding the first ever three-game by the Dukes in Norfolk. JMU fell to 11-24-1 overall and 6-12 in the conference.
The Monarchs trailed 4-1 when they struck for three runs in the sixth, capped by a tying two-run home run from catcher Josh Tutwiler, his third in the last two days.
ODU then pulled in front with two runs in the seventh without the benefit of a hit. A walk and sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position. An intentional walk was followed by an error to allow the first run of the inning to score unearned. First baseman Chris Baker added a sacrifice fly to make it 6-4.
In the visitor’s half of the eighth, junior second baseman Casey Goss (Springfield, Mo./Glendale) doubled to lead off the frame and extend his hitting streak to 18 games. He advanced on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI groundout by junior center fielder Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield). The Dukes proceeded to load the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, but a fielder’s choice groundout ended the inning.
Brandon Smith allowed five hits in his 1 2/3 innings but benefitted from the Monarchs’ rally to earn the win and improve to 6-1. Dean Ali recovered from taking the loss in Saturday’s game to record his second save with 1 1/3 innings.
Senior Evan Scott (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) was the tough-luck losing pitcher for JMU. He limited ODU to one run on two hits through the first five innings before being roughed up for three runs in the sixth and the go-ahead run in the seventh. He struck out eight.
The Monarchs won despite just six hits in the game. In addition to Tutwiler’s two-run shot, third baseman Austin McGowan was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Shortstop Josh Wright doubled, walked twice and scored twice.
Sophomore first baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) had his second three-hit game of the series for the Dukes.
Freshman designated hitter Aaron Hoover (Centreville, Va./Westfield) was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs. Junior left fielder Colby Roberts (Benton, Ark./Benton) also had a pair of hits.
Old Dominion had the early lead in the game with a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Brian Bashara.
The advantage lasted until the fifth when JMU broke out with a four-run inning. McFarland led off with a double, was sacrificed to third and scored when junior catcher Bradley Shaban (Midlothian, Va./Cosby) reached on an error. Freshman shortstop Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) also reached on an error on the next play and Hoover took advantage with a two-run double to the corner in right. Hoover reached third on a sacrifice and scored on a groundout to make it 4-1.
ODU responded in the sixth as Wright led off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on right fielder Josh Eldridge’s RBI groundout. After a single, Tutwiler lifted his tying two-run shot to right to make it 4-4.
JMU will be on the road at Maryland on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game before returning home Wednesday evening for a 6:30 p.m. contest hosting VMI.