NORFOLK, VA -- Old Dominion defeated No. 8 Rice for the second consecutive day with a 9-8 victory on Saturday at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. The win is ODU’s fourth consecutive and 10th win in their last 12 games.
Rice jumped out to a 5-1 lead after three innings, but the Monarchs rallied for six runs in the fourth led by a two-run homer by catcher Mike Perez and a bases-clearing double by first baseman Taylor Ostrich, along with three Owl errors to take a 7-5 lead, and knocking out Rice starter Blake Fox, the pre-season C-USA Pitcher-of-the-Year who entered the game 20-0 for his college career.
Rice rallied to tie the game at 7-7 with a solo homer by Kirby Taylor in the fifth and an RBI sacrifice fly by Ryan Chandler in the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, center fielder Connor Myers doubled down the left field line to scored Josh Eldridge and Perez later singled home Myers for a 9-7 lead.
Rice threatened in the eighth with two hits, but ODU reliever and winning pitcher Thomas Busbice (3-0) got out of the jam with a double play and a groundout to end the threat.
In the ninth inning, Rice cut the ODU lead to 9-8 on an RBI single by Kirby Taylor and eventually loaded the bases, but lefthanded reliever Jake Josephs got Connor Teykl to fly out to Nick Walker in right to end the game and giving the Monarchs the series. It was Josephs' first save of the season.
Taylor Ostrich led the Monarchs with three hits and four RBIs on the day. Mike Perez added two hits and three RBIs.
Rice, which has now dropped three games this week, had four players with three hits in Ryan Chandler, Ford Stanback Leoon Byrd and Kirby Taylor.