NORFOLK, Va. (ODUSports.com) – Andy Garriola hit a home run deep into right field with one out in the 10th inning to give the No. 18-ranked Old Dominion baseball team a 13-12 walk-off win over Charlotte on Sunday in a game that lasted nearly five hours.
The Monarchs (18-4, 3-3 C-USA) needed one run in the bottom of the eighth inning just to keep their hopes alive. Trailing 12-11, Garriola led off the frame with an infield single before moving up 90 feet on another single from Robbie Petracci. After Matt Coutney flied out, Thomas Wheeler hit a hard ground ball to first base, and the 49ers (16-7, 4-2) tried for a double play. Charlotte successfully cut down pinch runner Luke Waters at second base, but Austin Knight’s throw back to first base was errant, striking pitcher Quinton Martinez and allowing Garriola to scamper home.
Noah Dean worked around his own miscue in the top of the ninth to keep the score tied. He misplayed a chopper back to the mound, allowing the leadoff batter aboard. Dean, who was already over an inning into his day walked the next batter before buckling down with back-to-back strikeouts. He then induced a high pop up to Tommy Bell at short to get out of the jam.
The Monarchs put a runner on second with one out in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to end the game in regulation. Jared Hancock drew a one-out walk before advancing on a passed ball. Bell turned on a pitch but hit the ball right at the left fielder before Kenny Levari grounded out to second to move the game into extra innings.
With the ODU bullpen depleted, Dean stayed on for the 10th inning and fell into trouble after getting two quick outs. Jake Cunningham reached on an infield single, stole second and moved over to third on a misplaced throw from Hancock. With the go-ahead run 90 feet away, Dean fanned Cam Fisher to set up Garriola’s dramatics.
Dean (2-0) was electric on Sunday, setting new personal bests for innings pitched (3.1) and strikeouts (six). He allowed just one hit and walked a batter.
Old Dominion took early control of the game and led 5-0 after three innings. Petracci laced a double down the line in right to score Carter Trice and Bell in the first. In the third inning, Coutney singled home Trice before scoring on a two-run home run by Wheeler.
Monarch starter Sam Armstrong gave up a two-run homer to Kaden Hopson in the fourth before ODU tacked on four runs on just one hit in the bottom half of the inning. Old Dominion drew three walks with the bases loaded in the fourth, and Petracci was hit by a pitch to force home a run.
Armstrong’s day ended after the fourth inning. He allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
The 49ers hit three homers in a 10-run top of the fifth, including a pair of three-run shots by Josh Madole, to go ahead 12-9. Garriola answered with a two-run double in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 12-11.
The game settled down after the fifth as relievers Brett Smith and Martinez pounded the strike zone. Smith got the final out in the top of the fifth before a perfect sixth. The seventh-year Monarch got the first two outs in the top of the seventh before allowing an infield single. That would be the last pitch from Smith as head coach Chris Finwood turned the game over to Dean.
Smith pitched two innings of relief, allowing just one hit and striking out two.
Martinez (0-2) also entered in the fifth and kept the Monarchs in check. He pitched the last five innings of the game, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits with five strikeouts.
The Monarchs issued 12 more walks on Sunday with five coming from Trey Fisher and Joey DeChiaro in the fifth inning. ODU walked just one batter over the final five innings.
Trice went 4-for-5 with four runs scored. Garriola hit 3-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBIs. Petracci drove in three, and Coutney and Wheeler had two RBIs apiece.
ODU wraps up its five-game homestand against Campbell on Tuesday at 6 p.m.