Monteverde Pitches Marlins to Critical Victory

Hammond dives back into first base Thursday. Photo by: Jerry Sprouse - jerrysprouse.photoreflect.com
Hammond dives back into first base Thursday. Photo by: Jerry Sprouse - jerrysprouse.photoreflect.com

Monteverde Pitches Marlins to Critical Victory

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Freshman Patrick Monteverde pitched the Marlins to a 2-0 victory in a critical Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) game against Hampden-Sydney on Thursday.

The win moves the Marlins to 10-8 in league action, while Hampden-Sydney falls to 9-9. The Marlins are currently fourth in the ODAC standings, right in front of H-SC, and have a little breathing room with a matchup with No. 1 Shenandoah on Saturday. Six teams make the ODAC tournament field, with Roanoke and Guilford tied for the sixth spot with an 8-10 record. The regular season concludes Saturday.

Monteverde (6-2) dominated the Tigers, throwing 130 pitches while working into the ninth inning. He was pulled for Riley Koonce after the first batter of the inning struck out, but made it to first on a wild pitch. For the game, he finished with six strikeouts in eight innings, walking five and allowing just two hits.

The Marlins got all the offense they would need in the fourth inning as Justin Erby led off with a double to left. Deon Hammond singled to left on a 1-2 pitch, scoring Erby from second for a 1-0 lead. An error moved Hammond up to third where Zack Clark's groundout to first allowed him to race home for the insurance score.

That score remained when Koonce entered in the ninth with one on. He forced the first two batters to ground out, moving Andrew Kasiski up to third base after he initially reached on a strikeout wild pitch. Matthew Spagnolo got hit by a 2-1 pitch, putting runners on the corners, but Koonce got another groundout to preserve the win and his seventh save.

Koonce now ranks second in school history with 13 career saves. His seven this season is the fourth-most in a single season in the history of the baseball program.

Virginia Wesleyan (19-17/10-8) travels to No. 1 Shenandoah University (32-4/15-3) for a doubleheader Saturday scheduled for a noon first pitch.