NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Beginning a crucial stretch in its conference schedule, Old Dominion baseball could not have started much better.
The Monarch offense exploded and Blake Morgan and the pitching staff shut down Florida Atlantic as ODU cruised to a 14-0 win over the Owls to open a three game series at Bud Metheny Baseball Stadium on Friday night.
A two-run double by Brock Gagliardi and RBI single by Tommy Bell put the Monarchs up after the first inning, 3-0, and the bats would come alive from there. Old Dominion would hold a 5-0 lead after two innings and add on in the later stages of the game. Thomas Wheeler and Andy Garriola each hit a home run to help pace the offense for the silver and blue.
Morgan continued his impressive freshman campaign, throwing six innings of shutout baseball, scattering four hits, picking up three strikeouts and only walking one batter. He improved to 4-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to a razor-thin 0.70. The southpaw has struck out 43 batters on the season compared to just six walks.
The Monarchs increased their team home run total to 79 for the season, good enough for second in the country.
ODU improved to 27-9 on the campaign, 9-7 in Conference USA, and pulled to within one game of the Owls for third place in the league. This is the first of three straight weekends that find the Monarchs facing the top three teams in the conference. Louisiana Tech will visit the Bud next weekend, followed by the Monarchs making a trip to league-leader Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles are currently ranked No. 6 in the country.
Game two of Old Dominion's series with Florida Atlantic gets underway on Saturday at 3:00 PM.