Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Providing Student News to Old Dominion University Since 1930

Mace & Crown

Monarchs Baseball Sweep Opening Weekend Against George Washington

Courtesy of ODU Athletics
Monarchs dugout celebrates Luke Waters home run in Sunday’s matchup against George Washington.

Old Dominion has high hopes of returning as postseason contenders after getting off to a great start in the opening weekend of 2024, securing a series sweep over George Washington. The Monarchs started the season with a strong performance, using excellent pitching and aggressive base running to defeat GW 4-1 at Bud Metheny Ballpark. 

This game marked the beginning of the final season at the Bud before going into a $20 million renovation next season. In the updated stadium design, there will be several new amenities added for both players and fans.

In the top of the third inning, GW took a 1-0 lead when Steve Ditomaso singled to right field and drove in Ellis Schwartz. However, the run was unearned as Schwartz had reached base on a fielding error and then stole second. Ditomaso’s single was well placed to the right side of the field.

John Holobetz started on the mound for ODU in the season opener on Friday.

ODU responded in the bottom of the third, tying the game at 1-1. Junior Steven Meier walked, advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, stole third, and then scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the fourth, ODU scored three more runs, all of which were unearned. Senior Jake Ticer scored on an error, junior Maverick Stallings scored on a wild pitch, and sophomore Evan Holman singled to right to drive in Meier. 

On Saturday, Old Dominion and George Washington met for the second time of the weekend. In the first inning, senior Kenny Levari hit a double that brought in two runs with junior Kyle Edwards and sophomore Alex Bouche on the bases. In the second inning, Brett Young hit a double for George Washington, tying the score. In the fourth inning, both Stallings and Meier were hit by pitches, and junior Jack Slater bunted to move them to second and third base.

Edwards hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Meier and give ODU the lead. In the fifth inning, Ditomaso hit a triple to bring in Ellis Schwartz and tie the score again for GW. In the bottom of the fifth, Ticer hit a home run for Old Dominion, and Meier brought in junior Gavin Abrams to give them a two-run lead. In the sixth inning, Edwards then hit another double, and Bouche hit a sacrifice fly to bring him in.

Levari singled to bring in junior Luke Waters, and Old Dominion won 7-3. Sophomore Dylan Brown pitched for Old Dominion and had eight strikeouts in five innings. Senior Jay Cassady pitched the last inning and earned the save.

In the Sunday finale, the Revolutionaries scored the first run of the game in the first inning. Ditomaso made a single to short, stole second base, advanced to third on a Robby Wacker hit to left, and then made it home on a wild pitch.

During the fourth inning, the Monarchs responded by scoring three runs. Senior Jack Speights drew a leadoff walk, and Stallings followed it with a single to left, advancing both runners on a wild pitch. Meier’s squeeze bunt scored Speights, tying the game at 1-1, and Edwards’s sacrifice fly to right gave ODU the lead at 2-1. Meier then stole second, reached third on another wild pitch, and scored again, making it 3-1, thanks to Waters’ RBI single to short.

ODU continued to dominate by scoring another three runs in the sixth inning, pushing their lead to 6-1 with three hits. Meier started the inning with a single to second base, stole second, and advanced to third as Holman laid down a sac bunt. Edwards hit another sac fly, and Waters hit a solo home run to left. Abrams drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning.

Monarchs in action in Saturday’s contest against George Washington (Cameron Easton (Courtesy of ODU Athletics) )

GW scored another run in the seventh inning as Ellis Schwartz singled up the middle, scoring Wacker from third. However, that was all the offense GW could muster, as ODU answered with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. With Edwards and Holman on first and second, GW catcher Robbie Lavey attempted a snap throw to try and get Edwards returning to the bag. The throw got past first baseman Brett Young, allowing Holman and Edwards to move up to second and third. Waters then hit a 3-2 pitch for a line drive right back at GW pitcher Tyler Blankenship that hit off his shoulder and found its way into shallow right field. Both baserunners came home on the play to round out the scoring.

Waters finished the game with a perfect 4-for-4, hitting a home run, stealing a base, and driving in four runs. Meier went 2-for-4, scoring two runs, driving in another, and also stealing two bases. Stallings had another multi-hit performance, batting 2-for-5 with one run, and Edwards (1-for-3) collected two RBIs and added a run to his totals.

Redshirt Sophomore Kellen Davis got his first win of the season after striking out the side in the fifth inning. Senior starter Trent Buchanan tossed four complete innings and held the Revs to one run on three hits and a walk while striking out three. Senior Brandon Pond tallied four strikeouts in two innings of work.

“It was good to get the season underway. The guys had good energy and competed well. Obviously, lots to work on,” said ODU head coach Chris Finwood. “We threw strikes and played good defense which is always good to see. Also ran the bases well, but we have a lot of growth potential offensively and will keep working on our approaches with our new hitters in particular.”

ODU’s next contest will be a midweek game, and it’s their first of the season. The Monarchs will travel to Charlottesville, VA on Tuesday to play against No. 14 Virginia at 3 p.m. This game will be the first of three games against the Cavaliers in 2024, and the first of two at Davenport Field at Disharoon Park. After this contest, ODU will return home to play against Rutgers University in a three-game series. The first game will be on Friday at 3 p.m.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Benjamin Draper
Benjamin Draper, Sports Editor
Benjamin serves as the Sports Editor for Mace and Crown. He is a junior who majors in Communications, more specifically ‘Media Studies’ along with a minor in Sports Management. He is very excited for the opportunity of leading the sports staff at the Mace & Crown. Since he was 4 years old, Benjamin has wanted to pursue a career in sports media as a Broadcaster/Reporter. On the side, he does broadcasting/production for the ODU Esports program and is Sports Director for WODU Studios. After college, Benjamin hopes to land an opportunity in a sports media role at the professional level whether its a media outlet or sports franchise. You can reach him at [email protected]

Comments (0)

All Mace & Crown Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *