CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Old Dominion put together a valiant comeback in the eighth inning to record a 5-4 victory over No. 20 Virginia on Wednesday afternoon at Davenport Field. The win marked the program’s fourth straight win over the defending national champions, as ODU moved to 19-7 overall and recorded its second win over a ranked team this season.
The Cavaliers put two runs on the board with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. Ernie Clement struck out swinging, but reached first base on a wild pitch to keep UVA alive. Matt Thaiss the singled to right center, advancing Clement to third base. Pavin Smith followed with a double to left center to score Thaiss and Clement. After a solo shot from Doak Dozier in the bottom of the sixth, Virginia led Old Dominion heading into the seventh inning.
The Monarchs’ bats came alive in the top of the eighth inning, driving in four runs to take the lead from the Cavaliers (4-3). Nick Lustino led off the inning with a single to right field and was sent to home after Chris Livers, a pinch hitter, doubled down the left field line. Kyle Beam also came in to pinch hit and drilled one up the middle to score both Lustrino and Livers pull ODU within one (3-2). The speedy Connor Myers beat out a double play to keep the ODU momentum flowing and advanced all the way to third after two fielding errors after a Zach Rutherford fielder’s choice. Nick Walker tied the game (3-3) with a sac fly that sent Myers home. Designated hitter Seth Woodard notched his first career hit, and a big one at that, as he doubled through the left side to score Rutherford and give ODU the 4-3 advantage.
The Cavaliers once again scored with two outs on the board, as Virginia tied the game (4-4) in the bottom of the eighth inning.
With two outs and runners on first and third, Myers singled through the left side to once again put ODU on top 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Brett Smith came in to pitch for the Monarchs and retired 3-of-4 UVA batters to secure the win for ODU.
Grayson Bailey earned the win for the Monarchs and moved to 2-0 on the season, while Smith picked up his first save of the year. Sinnen finished the game 2-for-4, while Myers went 2-for-5 with one RBI and one run. Lustrino also went 1-for-3 and posted two runs.
Alec Bettinger suffered the loss for UVA, allowing three hits and the game-winning run in 1.2 innings. Daniel Pinero led the Cavaliers with a 2-for-3 showing that included a run.