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Northeastern, Bama, UK, TCU, JMU, BCU, Temple, ODU, and Louisville pick up wins

Northeastern 5 Bowling Green 0

Sophomore Sheldon McDonald threw eight shutout innings of five-hit, nine-strikeout ball and did not walk a batter, as he led the Huskies to a 5-0 win over the Western Michigan Broncos on Wednesday afternoon at IMG Academies in BRadenton, Fla. Western Michigan entered the game having scored at least 15 runs in three of its last five games, but McDonald kept the Bronco bats silent all afternoon.

Shortstop and senior captain Mike Lyon continued to be an offensive force for the Huskies, as he broke a scoreless tie with his fourth home run of the year in the top of the fourth. He finished the game 3-5 with a double, homer, three RBI and two runs scored to lead the Husky offensive attack. Center fielder Frank Compagnone and senior captain Josh Porter each added three hits and an RBI in the game as well.

McDonald improved to 2-0 on the season with the victory. Freshman Les Williams came into pitch the bottom of the ninth for the Huskies. After facing a bases-loaded, no-out situation, Williams recorded a strikeout and induced a ground ball from Western Michigan shortstop Grant Simotes for the game-ending double-play.

Northeastern improved to 4-2 with the victory while Western Michigan dropped to 6-2. The two teams will be back in action on Thursday at 1 p.m. at IMG Academies. Sophomore Charly Bashara takes the ball for the Huskies.

Alabama 8 Troy 2

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama sophomore right-hander Austin Graham pitched into the seventh inning in his first start in nearly two years and the Crimson Tide offense scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning en route to an 8-2 win over Troy Wednesday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Graham (1-0), who was making his first start on the mound for Alabama since March 8, 2006 against South Alabama, held Troy to two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings, with four walks and four strikeouts in helping the Tide snap its modest two-game losing streak. It was Graham’s first win since beating Florida International 12-2 on February 26, 2006.

“It felt good,” Graham said after his 111-pitch performance. “It was nice to pitch well and get a win.”

Alabama (4-5) scored two runs in the first inning to give the right-hander and early lead and then blew the game open with a four-run, third inning to take a 6-0 lead.

Junior DH Alex Avila’s first home run of the season, an opposite field blast off the scoreboard in left-center field gave the Tide a two-run lead. Josh Rutledge led off the game with a single up the middle and scored on Avila’s 20th career home run.

The Crimson Tide erupted for four runs on five hits in the bottom of third inning to take a 6-0 lead. Rutledge started the fourth-inning rally with a one-out single up the middle and moved into scoring position when Ross Wilson drew a four-pitch walk. After Avila struck out, Brandon May reached on an infield single to load the bases. Matt Bentley then slapped a ground-rule double down the left field line to score Rutledge and Wilson and extend the lead to 4-0. Kent Matthes then singled to left to score May and Bentley to make it 6-0.

“We got an early lead and then had the big inning where we scored multiple runs and that was the game,” Alabama head coach Jim Wells said.

Troy starter Jeff Green (0-1) was charged with six earned runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings. He added three strikeouts and walked one batter.

Troy (9-2) scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fourth inning to close the gap to 6-2. Bart Pettus reached on an error by Bentley and later scored on Charlie Williams’ two-out home run to right field. It was Williams’ first home run of the year.

Junior right-hander Robert Phares relieved Graham with two outs and two runners on base in the seventh inning to earn his first collegiate save. Phares blanked the Trojans on two hits over the final 2 1/3 innings, with two strikeouts.

Alabama added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against TU reliever J.J. Whetsel. Bentley opened the inning with a double and moved to third on Matthes’ single to left field. Bentley later scored on a wild pitch to give the Tide a 7-2 lead. Matthes later scored on Mike Sharp’s RBI single to left field to put the Tide in front 8-2.

Alabama will host Youngstown State in a three-game series this weekend at Sewell-Thomas Stadium, beginning Friday, March 7, at 6:30 p.m. The weekend will include a reunion of the 1983 College World Series team on Saturday, March 8.

Kentucky 15 Evansville 1

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sawyer Carroll was one of four players to chart multi-hit games, as the No. 9 Kentucky baseball team rode 11 runs in the first two innings to a dominating 15-1 win over the visiting Evansville Purple Aces, improving to 10-0 on the campaign, on Wednesday evening at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

Kentucky (10-0) got another three-hit performance from Carroll, the reigning Southeastern Conference and National Player of the Week. The senior 6-foot-4, 215-pound right fielder extended his hitting streak to seven games, and the 3-for-4 day at the plate marked the fourth consecutive three-hit game for the Henryetta, Okla., native. After his performance, Carroll has now batted 14-for-18, with four homers and 16 RBI in the past five games. Entering Wednesday’s contest, Carroll had homered in four consecutive games.

The Wildcats got multi-hit games from senior Brian Spear, preseason All-American Collin Cowgill, and Marcus Nidiffer, as UK rolled to 15 hits. Leadoff man Keenan Wiley extended his hit streak to eight games with a 1-for-2 day and freshman shortstop Chris Wade added a 1-for-4 evening to push his hit streak to eight games. Cowgill finished the day 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI, swiping his SEC-leading eighth base in eight attempts.

On the mound, UK worked seven total pitchers with starter James Paxton (2-0) picking up the win after working three predetermined innings. Paxton has worked in 10 innings on the season, striking out 15 and earning a 0.90 ERA. Clint Tilford, Mike Kaczmarek, Logan Darnell, Tyler Henry, Brock Baber and Andrew Albers each worked scoreless innings, allowing just two hits between the six relievers over the final six frames, striking out six combined.

The win marked a bit of redemption in what is becoming one of the top rivalries on the UK schedule, as the Wildcats atoned for a 5-4 walk-off win in 2007 at Evansville’s packed Braun Stadium – a game pitting two teams who were on the NCAA Tournament bubble entering that pivotal mid-week matchup. Kentucky still trails the all-time series with the Purple Aces, 6-8, improving to a 4-3 mark in Lexington.

UK has continued to dominate its opposition through 10 games, piling up a 136-22 overall scoring margin. The Wildcats have scored over 10 runs in each game this season, averaging over 13 runs per game. UK is batting an impressive .375 (133-for-355), with 36 doubles, five triples, 15 home runs, swiping 24-of-27 bags.

Evansville (0-8) entered the game in search of its first win of the season, after suffering heart-breaking defeats vs. No. 24 St. Johns and a walk-off loss to No. 5 Vanderbilt on Feb. 27 in Nashville. A year ago, Evansville won over 30 games and was in the hunt for an NCAA Tournament birth late in the season.

Pitching wise, the Wildcats have emerged as the top staff in the league, leading the SEC in nearly all pitching categories. UK has totaled a 1.74 ERA in 88 innings, striking out 101 and walking only 13.

On the season, Carroll leads the way for the Wildcats, batting .618 (21-for-34), with five doubles, one triple, five homers and 25 RBI, leading the league in nearly every offensive category. Cowgill ranks second on the club with a .421 (16-for-38) average, reaching on three doubles, a triple, three homers and 14 RBI. Along with Carroll and Cowgill – two national player of the year watch list members – Kentucky has four everyday players batting for an average above .340 (Spear, Frazier, Wiley, and Wade).

Wiley got hit by the first pitch of the game, his fifth hit by pitch of the season. Spear followed with a hard hit grounder to the shortstop – who misplayed it for an error. Cowgill followed and ripped a hard grounder at the third baseman, who missed on his attempt to tag Wiley out at third base, loading the bases. Carroll scored Wiley with a single through the right side and Frazier drew a bases loaded walk for the second run. Tyler Howe plated his sixth RBI of the season with a single through the right side. Korus hit into a grounded double play, allowing the fourth run of the inning to cross home. Wade completed the first-inning damage for the Wildcats, ripping an RBI single through the left side, allowing Frazier to score.

In the second inning, UK continued to add to its monstrous lead, tacking on six runs on three hits. Spear reached on a one-out single through the left side and Cowgill reached on a fielder’s choice. Carroll drove in Spear with a single through the right side. Frazier got hit by a pitch and Howe followed with his team-leading seventh hit by pitch of the season. Korus plated two runs with a two-RBI double down the right-field line. Wade followed, hanging up a fly ball into center field for a sacrifice fly.

Evansville tacked on its run in the third inning, as leadoff man Nate Smith drew a one-out walk off Paxton. After Paxton got the next batter to strike out swining, Andy Pascoe came through with a two-out double to score Smith and the Purple Aces’ lone run. In UK’s walk-off loss a year ago, Pascoe provide the difference, ripping a two-out, two-strike single through the infield for the winning RBI. Pascoe, who was pinch hitting at the time, had entered the game with six career hits and one career RBI.

The Wildcats added a run in the third inning, as Spear led of with a ground-rule double into the right field corner by the bullpen. Cowgill came through with a double of his own, a line-drive shot down the left-field line, scoring Spear from second.

In the fifth, UK added a run as Wiley led off with a single to right and Cowgill and Carroll loaded the bases with singles of their own. With UK up 12-1, coach John Cohen subbed in three pinch runners at the same time, and Frazier plated Brock Wright – running for Wiley – with an RBI groundout.

UK added one run in the bottom half of the seventh, as Nidiffer – pinch hitting for Spear – led off with his first double of the game. Bryan Rose singled up the middle, allowing Nidiffer to come racing around from second for a run.

The Wildcats tacked on its final run in the eighth inning, as Chris Bisson reached on a two-out single through the left side. Wright got plunked by a pitch and Niddifer scored Bisson with his second double in as many at bats.

The Wildcats return to action on Friday, kicking off a four-game set with the Purdue Boilermakers. First pitch on Friday is slated for 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.

TCU 4 Texas State 3

FORT WORTH, Texas – Tuesday night repeated itself as the TCU Horned Frogs gave up a ninth-inning lead, but a Brett Medlin bases loaded single gave the Frogs a 4-3 victory in 11 innings over Texas State Wednesday night at Lupton Stadium. The Bobcats tied the game at three in the bottom of the ninth, but never got anything going in extra innings as Eric Marshall slammed the door to earn his first collegiate victory.

With one out in the bottom of the 11th, Ben Carruthers laced the ball to deep left center and raced all the way to third for a stand-up triple. Playing the odds, the Bobcats elected to issue intentional walks to both Matt Vern and Matt Carpenter to load the bases with one out. Medlin delivered with a sharp single to left field to plate Carruthers with the winning run.

The extra innings were necessary as the Bobcats battled to tie the game at three in the top of the ninth. Aaron Fuller collected a pinch-hit one-out single and moved to second on a Thomas Field infield single. After a groundout put both runners in scoring position, Paul Goldschmidt walked to load the bases. TCU relief pitcher Andrew Cashner unleashed a wild pitch, allowing the tying run to score from third. Cashner limited the damage as he got Adam Witek to ground out to end the inning.

TCU saw two golden opportunities to win the game late go by the wayside thanks in part to aggressive play on the bases. In the ninth, the Frogs had two on with one out, but the Bobcats were able to get out of the jam with a double play. In the tenth, Medlin drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a Bryan Holaday sacrifice. Lance Loftin threw a wild pitch while trying to intentionally walk Bryan Kervin to put Medlin on third, but miscommunication by the Frogs led to Medlin being erased on the base paths.

Marshall (1-0) worked around a two-out walk in the top of the 11th to set up Medlin’s heroics in the bottom of the frame. In total, Marshall worked two scoreless innings, allowing just a walk and tallying a strikeout.

The Bobcats cracked the scoreboard first on a two-out two-run single off the bat of Ben Theriot. Following the rocky first inning, TCU starter Paul Gerrish settled in, working a perfect second and pitching around a lead-off single in the third inning. Trent Appleby came on in the fourth with two on and two out and got Field to ground out to end the inning.

A run in the fifth inning started the Frogs on the comeback trail as the cut the Bobcat lead in half. With two outs, the Frogs strung together three straight hits to make it a 2-1 ballgame. Hunt Woodruff got the rally started and moved to third on a Holaday single. Bryan Kervin put the Frogs on the board with a sharp single to left field.

TCU tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Clint Arnold doubled to lead off the frame and moved to third on a Carruthers sacrifice bunt. Aaron Taylor, on in relief of Bobcat starter Kane Holbrooks, tossed a wild pitched that allowed Arnold to score from third.

A seventh inning tally put the Frogs in front as they were helped along by a throwing error by the shortstop. Holaday worked a one-out walk and moved to third on the throwing error. Steve Ellington laid down a perfect safety bunt to score Holaday from third.

The Frogs (5-4) will return to the diamond Friday night when they host #2 Mississippi in the opener of a three-game series. First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Lupton Stadium. Seth Garrison will take the mound in search of his first win of the season.

James Madison 10 Tennessee 3

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., March 5, 2008 – James Madison University scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back in notching a 10-3 win at the University of Tennessee in a nonj-conference baseball game Wednesday afternoon at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

JMU improved to 5-3 overall while UT dropped to 4-4. The win was just the second ever for the Dukes against a team from the Southeastern Conference. The other was a 7-4 triumph over Georgia in 2002.

“I think the biggest thing for us was picking up an SEC win in a hostile environment,” JMU head coach Spanky McFarland commented on the win. “We came in here and played pretty good baseball. We had a good group effort on the mound and got some timely hits with runners in scoring position. We are very pleased, especially with the mental toughness that the players showed today. That’s an encouraging sign.”

The Dukes had the benefit of 11 walks and four Volunteer errors in the contest while also outhitting UT 11-7. JMU scored four runs in its first at bat only to give two back in the bottom of the inning. However, the Dukes went on to add six runs unanswered to pull away for the convincing victory.

Redshirt junior Brett Sellers (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBIs, and a walk. It was his second straight game with a home run in his first game this season batting third in the lineup.

Redshirt senior Joe Lake (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach) had two hits, two runs, two RBIs, and a walk. Redshirt sophomore Steven Caseres (New City, N.Y./St. Joseph Regional) had a two-run home run in the first. Sophomore Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch) was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and his first career triple. Junior Brett Garner (Burke, Va./Lake Braddock) reached base four times with a single and three walks.

Freshman Turner Phelps (Roanoke, Va./Lord Botetourt) earned his second straight victory in relief, working three innings while surrendering no runs on three hits with five strikeouts. Redshirt senior Trevor Kaylid (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) made his first start of the season, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and four walks in four innings.

Junior Joey Rosas (Cottonwood, Ariz./Yavapai College) took the loss as the first of seven Volunteer pitchers in the game. He allowed four runs on three hits with four walks in 2 1/3 innings.

Freshman P.J. Polk (Murfreesboro, Tenn./Oakland) had two doubles for Tennessee with a run, an RBI, and a walk. Junior Jarred Frazier (Shelbyville, Tenn./Shelbyville Central) was 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the eighth for the Vols.

JMU got off to a solid start with a four-run first inning. Sophomore Alex Foltz (Mathias, W.Va./East Hardy) and Lake drew consecutive walks and advanced a base on a throwing error. After an RBI groundout by Sellers, Caseres homered to right field, his first of the season. Browning followed with a triple and freshman McKinnon Langston (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian) brought him in with an RBI groundout.

UT got two back in the bottom of the frame when senior Andy Simunic (Collierville, Tenn./Chattanooga State) walked out of the leadoff spot and stole second. Polk then doubled to the wall in left center to plate the first run. After consecutive strikeouts, freshman Josh Liles (Jackson, Tenn.) singled through the right side for an RBI.

The Dukes regained a four-run cushion in the fourth. Langston tripled to start the inning and the Dukes later loaded the bases with one down on a walk and a hit batter. After a flyout, Lake hit a two-run single through the right side.

JMU added another run in the fifth on a solo home run to left field by Sellers. The Dukes loaded the bases after the home run and had a bases-loaded walk by sophomore Mike Fabiaschi (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) for the eighth run.

The ninth run for the Dukes came in on a throwing error on a failed pickoff by the pitcher as Browning scored in the seventh. The last run came in the eighth when a single by Lake was trailed by a double from Sellers. Frazier’s home run for UT came in the bottom of the inning to account for the 10-3 final.

JMU will head south from Knoxville to Atlanta for a three-game CAA weekend set in Panthersville against Georgia State.

Bethune Cookman 8 South Florida 4

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Freshman outfielder Ryan Lockwood was 3-for-5 at the plate in the University of South Florida’s 8-4 loss to the Bethune-Cookman Tigers Wednesday night.

USF drops to 3-5 this season and BCU improves to 5-3 after the non-conference matchup in Daytona Beach.

Lockwood led off the game with a single up the middle, recording his eighth hit of his rookie season. In the seventh, Lockwood doubled to right field, then in the eighth, he drove in USF’s third run with a single up the middle.

Lockwood’s 10 hits this season are second-best on the team, behind junior shortstop Addison Maruszak’s 11.

After Lockwood’s first-inning single and a stolen base, the Jesuit High graduate scored on a sac fly from Maruszak. Bethune-Cookman then recorded eight runs over the next four innings before USF tallied a run in the top of the final three innings.

In the seventh, Lockwood’s double and a pair of walks to freshmen Jonathan Koscso and Stephen Hunt loaded the bases for the Bulls. A sacrifice hit from senior Eric Baumann scored Lockwood, USF’s second run of the game.

An inning later, junior Brandon Smith was hit by a pitch, and a single from Lockwood scored Smith as Lockwood picked up his sixth RBI of the season.

BCU dealt the Bulls two walks to start the ninth, then a sac fly from junior catcher Corey Johnson scored Maruszak, USF’s final run.

USF’s starting pitcher, Derrick Stultz, was tagged with the loss, as he struck out four and allowed four runs from as many hits in three innings. Freshmen Junior Carlin (1.0 IP) and Doug Wagner (3.0 IP) each struck out two before senior David Torcise sat down one, in the bottom of the eighth.

On Friday, the Bulls return to Red McEwen Field to begin a three-game weekend series with Savannah State. The Bulls and Tigers start the weekend Friday at 7 p.m., then will meet again Saturday at 7 p.m. Sunday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Temple 9 Rutgers 5

PISCATAWAY, NJ (3/5/08) – Senior Mike Kelch (Annandale, VA / WT Woodson) blasted a three-run home run as part of a seven-run seventh inning to lead Temple to a 9-5 come-from-behind victory over the defending Big East champion Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Wednesday at Bainton Field. The victory snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Scarlet Knights and was the first win for TU in the series since April 14, 1991. Junior Sean Barksdale (Glenolden, PA / Cardinal O’Hara) added three hits and drove in two for the Owls.

“I think our team has a lot of potential and we showed some of that today,” Kelch said.

Trailing 4-0 after five innings, the Owls plated a pair of runs in the sixth on a Barksdale double and a sophomore Matt Heltz (Garyville, LA / St. Charles Catholic) groundout to make it 4-2. Rutgers added a run of its own in the bottom of the frame before Temple put together its best inning of the season in the seventh.

Ten straight batters reached base in the inning, with seven crossing the plate off three Scarlet Knight hurlers. Junior Mark Ortega (Palm Beach Gardens, FL / Palm Beach Gardens / Boston College) walked and came around to score on a wild pitch for the first run of the inning and a bases-loaded walk to freshman Byron McKoy (Charlotte, NC / Independence) forced in another.

Barksdale knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice and Heltz followed with a single to give the Owls their first lead of the game at 6-5. Kelch then launched his three-run home run over the 385 foot sign in left-center, his first of the season, to make the score 9-5.

“I got a good pitch and fortunately, the wind was blowing and it went out,” Kelch said.

Temple went to the bullpen holding the four-run lead and the combination of freshmen Jordan Cannon (Reading, PA / Exeter Twp.), sophomore Ryan Thomas (Aliquippa, PA / Center) and senior Arshwin Asjes (Willemstad, Curacao / Cheverus-ME) closed the door. Thomas came in with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, but forced a ground-out to Heltz at third to escape the jam.

Asjes struck out one batter in the eighth and after Barksdale’s single led off the ninth, the game was called due to darkness. The victory was the first for Temple in Piscataway since a 5-2 victory on April 1, 1988.

Senior Matt Blackburn (West Chester, PA / Gloucester Catholic-NJ) picked up the win in relief of senior Eric Fritz (Rocky Hill, CT / Rocky Hill), who tossed five innings and allowed three earned runs. Blackburn improves to 1-0 on the season.

While the Owl defense was far from perfect on the day after committing three errors, Temple did throw out three runners from the outfield, including two at the plate. Barksdale threw a perfect one-hopper to the plate for the first out of the first inning and in the third, Ortega took the cut-off from McKoy in left and fired to junior catcher Kyle Obal (Derwood, MD / Sherwood) for the second out of the third inning.

Ortega and Obal each added two base hits as part of a season high 13-hit attack.

Tom Edwards was 4-for-4 for Rutgers, while Vic Cegles, the son of the former Temple Associate AD by the same name, had two hits. Tony Wargo (0-1) suffered the loss for the Scarlet Knights.

The contest marked the return of third-year head coach Rob Valli to the “Banks of the Raritan”, where he served as an assistant coach in 1999 and 2000, helping the Scarlet Knights to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.

Temple hosts Wagner on Friday in its home opener at Skip Wilson Field. First pitch is set for 2:30 PM. Cornell visits on Saturday followed by Hartford on Sunday. Live statistics will be available via Gametracker.

Old Dominion 9 Liberty 7

Lynchburg, Va. – The Old Dominion Monarchs erased a 6-4 Liberty advantage with three runs in the seventh inning and two more in the eighth for a 9-7 win over the Flames, Wednesday afternoon, at Worthington Stadium.

With the loss, Liberty falls to 6-3 on the season, while the victory moves Old Dominion to 5-4 on the year. The contest was the first meeting between the two Virginia clubs at Worthington Stadium since the opening game of the 2005 season.

Old Dominion opened the contest with three runs in its first at bat. Center fielder Jimmy Miles doubled to lead off the game and scored on a two-base throwing error by Flames’ starter Steven Evans (Fr., LHP, Amherst, Va.) on a bunt by Max Most. Brian Cipolla then lifted a sacrifice fly to left to plate Most for a quick 2-0 Monarch lead. Designated hitter David Burns followed with a solo home run over the right-center field wall, his second of the season, to give Old Dominion a 3-0 lead.

Liberty sliced the Monarch advantage to one, 3-2, in the bottom of the second inning. Aaron Grijalva (Sr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) doubled to the bottom of the wall in right-center field and advanced to third base on a single by Doug Bream (Fr., LF, Elizabethtown, Pa.). Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.) then cashed in Grijalva with a sacrifice fly for the Flames’ first run of the game. Later in the frame, Tommy Bussey (Jr., 2B, Boynton Beach, Fla.), who had reached on a single, scored on a RBI single by Kenneth Negron (Jr., CF, Kingwood, Texas).

In the third, both teams plated runs. Miles singled and stole second and third base. Two batters later, Cipolla lifted another sacrifice fly for a 4-2 Old Dominion lead.

Liberty came back in the bottom of the frame with four runs to take a 6-4 advantage. P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) split the center fielder and the right fielder with a liner to the gap to open the Flames’ half of the third inning. Two batters later, Bream dropped a double inside the left line to put Liberty runners on second and third. Brown followed with a single through the left side of the infield to deliver both runners and tie the game at 4-4.

After a walk to Bussey, a fielding error by Monarch shortstop Chris Buss on a ground ball up the middle by Aaron Phillips (Sr., SS, Claremore, Okla.) allowed Brown to come around to score and give Liberty a 5-4 lead. Bussey later scored on Errol Hollinger’s (Jr., C, Upland, Calif.) fielder’s choice ground ball for a 6-4 advantage.

Old Dominion went ahead for good in the game in the seventh inning. The first three Monarch hitters of the frame reached to load the bases. Burns then plated Miles, who singled to open the inning, with the first run of the frame with a ground ball out. Next batter Anthony Shawler then doubled inside the bag at third base for two more runs and a 7-6 Monarch lead.

In the eighth inning, Old Dominion upped its advantage to 9-6 on a Most RBI double and a Cipolla run-scoring single. Liberty added a run in the bottom half of the inning on a RBI ground out by Hollinger for the final score of 9-7.

Liberty starter Evans took the loss to drop to 0-1 on the season. In his first start in a Flames’ uniform, the left-hander yielded seven runs, six earned, on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. Old Dominion reliever Daniel Abdalla, the second of three Monarch hurlers, ran his record to 1-0. He allowed one run on three hits in 5 1/3 innings of relief. Ryan Bergh picked up his first save of the year with a scoreless 1 1/3 innings.

Brown had three hits and drove in three runs for the Flames, while Negron had three hits and a RBI. Miles paced Old Dominion with four hits and scored four times.

Liberty will host Army this weekend at Worthington Stadium in a three-game series. The series opens Friday with first pitch slated for 3 p.m.

Louisville 13 EKU 5

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Justin McClanahan, Chris Dominguez and Andrew Clark went a combined 8 for 14 at the plate with eight RBI, six runs scored and a pair of home runs to lead the University of Louisville baseball team to a 13-5 win over Eastern Kentucky on a sunny Wednesday at Jim Patterson Stadium.

“That’s how you want the middle of your lineup to perform,” noted Head Coach Dan McDonnell.

Freshman hurler Dean Kiekhefer worked six solid innings to earn the win in his first career start.

The Cardinals (5-3) put up six unearned runs in the second inning. Clark drilled a one out triple to the wall in right, and after Jeff Arnold drew a walk, Tyler Mickits hit a ground ball to the right side, and when the throw came to the plate, it was dropped by catcher Joe Oliver to make it 1-0. Josh Richmond singled to load the bases, and extend his hitting streak to seven games.

When Stewart Ijames hit into what looked to be an inning-ending double play, second baseman Matt Davis failed to field the ball cleanly and everyone was safe, including Arnold with the second run of the inning. An out later, Phil Wunderlich cleared the bases with a ringing double to right, and McClanahan singled him home for the 6-0 lead.

A double by Jayson Langfels, a wild pitch and an RBI groundout by Oliver put the Colonels (4-2-1) on the board in the third.

A solo home run off the bat of Tyler Rehmel opened the EKU fifth and cut the lead to 6-2, but the Colonels would get no closer.

With one away in the Cardinal fifth, the middle of the order did more damage. McClanahan singled, Dominguez walked and Clark pelted a 3-1 pitch off the top of the wall in right center and out for a three-run home run, his first of the season, and a 9-3 lead.

EKU manufactured a run in the seventh, but the heart of the Cardinal lineup responded again.

This time a single by McClanahan was followed by a home run off the bat of Dominguez that cleared the fence in left, the berm, and the fence behind the newly redesigned left field perch, a shot that Clark viewed from the on deck circle.

“I’ve never seen a ball hit farther than that. At a big league game, anywhere.”

The home run came on a 3-1 delivery and was the third of the season for Dominguez, tying McClanahan for the team lead.

With the score 11-3, EKU picked up an RBI double by Davis and a sac fly to center by Ryan Faidley in the eighth, but yet again the same Cardinals combination replied.

Freshman Drew Haynes legged out an infield single, and a third Eastern error placed he and Wunderlich at the corners ahead of consecutive RBI singles by McClanahan and Dominguez to seal the game.

Kiekhefer scattered four hits and just one walk while striking out five to level his record to 1-1 on the season. Matt Lea worked an inning, allowing a run on one hit, striking out one.

Gavin Logsdon was touched for two runs, one of which was earned, on two hits while striking out one, and freshman Gabriel Shaw stretched his perfection to six innings this season with a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out one. Shaw has retired all 18 batters he has faced, striking out nine to open his college career.

Chris Grider (0-1) took the loss, allowing six unearned runs on four hits and a walk, fanning three. Five EKU relievers each tossed an inning in relief.

The game was the first of 13 straight at home for the Cardinals, with Northwestern scheduled to play a three-game weekend set beginning Friday at 2:00 p.m. Admission is free.

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