NORFOLK, Va. (ODUSports.com) – The Old Dominion baseball team took down FIU, 16-9 on Sunday afternoon to secure its first C-USA series victory of the 2021 season. With the game tied 9-9 in the top of the third inning, ODU added three runs, highlighted by a Kenny Levari home run, to break away from FIU at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.
"We do a great job of getting up early. It's 9-0 in the first inning but before you can blink all of the sudden it's 9-9. That can just be college baseball when the ball starts rolling down the hill, it can be hard to stop," said ODU head coach Chris Finwood. "We made a few mistakes defensively that inning. Ryne Moore didn't have his best performance today, but the bullpen came in and our young guys gave FIU a bunch of zeros the rest of the way. I thought that was a fantastic job by those guys."
Kyle Battle led off the first with a single in ODU's highest-scoring inning of the game. Kenny Levari reached base off a hit by pitch. Carter Trice knocked one out of the park to bring home three runs. ODU (17-5, 3-1 C-USA) kept its foot on the pedal with six more runs in the first to lead, 9-0.
FIU (9-12, 1-3 C-USA) added one run in the second off a solo homer from Justin Farmer. The Panthers erupted with eight runs off six hits in the third inning.
ODU quickly responded in the bottom of the third. Tommy Bell led off with a single, and Battle followed with a triple to bring home Bell. With Battle on third, freshman Levari knocked one out of the park to record his first collegiate home run.
The Monarchs kept the Panthers off the board the rest of the way. ODU added a run in the fourth and three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to run away with the game to pick up its third-consecutive win.
Joey Rodriguez notched his first win of the season on the hill, fanning one batter in 1.1 innings of action. Joey DeChiaro, Brad Dobzanski and Jacob Gomez pitched 5.0 innings of scoreless baseball for ODU, putting together six strikeouts in relief.
Levari ended the afternoon with five RBIs, while Trice added four RBIs to lead the team. Five Monarchs recorded multi-hit performances on Sunday. For the four-game series, ODU compiled a whopping 45 runs.
"We have a lot of good things happening by young players without a doubt they are improving and getting better," Finwood concluded. "The main thing about the game was that when FIU tied the game 9-9, we won the rest of game 7-0. We didn't quit, we kept grinding, adding on and wore them down."
ODU will open its lengthy road stint with a four-game series at Marshall on Friday, April 2.