HATTIESBURG, MS (WTKR)- A day after Old Dominion seemed to have lost its bats, the Monarchs found them again.
Old Dominion used a fourth inning rally to surge ahead and never looked back, topping Charlotte, 13-4, in Friday's Conference USA Tournament elimination game. ODU moves on to the semifinals, where it will have to beat Louisiana Tech twice on Saturday in order to advance to the championship game.
The silver and blue found themselves in a hole before even coming up to the plate as the 49ers put up a three spot in the opening frame. Jack Dragum's home run highlighted the early offense for Charlotte.
The Monarchs would trail 4-1 in the fourth when their bats came alive. With two outs, Carter Trice greeted relief pitcher Tony Rossi by smacking a grand slam on Rossi's first pitch, turning the game on its head and putting Old Dominion in front, 5-4. After a walk to Matt Coutney, Andy Garriola followed suit with a two-run home run of his own, capping off the six run frame for Chris Finwood and company.
ODU would add two more runs in the fifth and four in the eighth to pull away and the bullpen pitched seven innings of shutdown baseball to get the job done.
Trice paced the offense, going 3-for-5 with the grand slam and four RBI. Tommy Bell also tallied a three-hit day, including a double.
Jacob Gomez took care of the Charlotte bats, coming in as the first relief pitcher and eating up four innings. He only gave up one run and struck out five to earn the win.
Friday saw Old Dominion pick up win number 40 on the season, giving the silver and blue back-to-back 40 win season for the first time since 1985 and 1986. Some players and coaches believed that 40 wins should secure them a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
The Monarch victory came off a Thursday performance that saw them no-hit for 6.1 innings in a 7-2 loss to Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs have beaten ODU in three of their four meetings in 2022.
Old Dominion and Louisiana Tech hit the field on Saturday at 10:00 AM for their first semifinal game. A Monarch victory would force an elimination game between the two squads at 5:00 PM. Southern Mississippi and Texas-San Antonio will meet in the other semifinal.