On a crisp Tuesday evening, William and Mary (15-6) welcomed Old Dominion (15-8) to Plumeri Park for a midweek contest in the midst of five-game homestand. It was the second time this season these two teams met, with the Monarchs taking the first matchup 6-3 March 12 in Norfolk. The Tribe looked for revenge Tuesday and tried to continue an already strong season coming off a decisive 15-4 victory over Colonial Athletic Association rival Northeastern. However, the Monarchs squeezed out a close 4-2 victory over the Tribe.
Coming into the contest, the Tribe ranked in the top five in the CAA in runs scored, runs batted in, batting average, doubles and triples. In addition, the College came into this game ranked second in the CAA with an earned-run average of 3.73.
Starting on the mound for the Tribe was sophomore Jacob Haney, boasting a 2-1 record in five games started on the year. He faced senior Morgan Maguire, who had struggled coming into the matchup with a record of 0-2 and an ERA of 8.75 in six games started.
Infielder Matt Burch started off the scoring early in the first inning for ODU, with a fielder’s choice that scored outfielder Bryce Windham. However, senior catcher Hunter Smith responded quickly for the College, with a clutch single to left field that scored freshman right fielder Matt Thomas. It was just the beginning of a massive performance for Thomas, who finished the game with two hits, a walk and a run scored. But in the ensuing innings, disaster struck for Haney, who gave up a run each in the second, third and fifth innings. After five innings, Maguire had only surrendered two hits and one earned run, while Haney gave up four hits and four runs.
As the sun set over the Williamsburg sky, Haney settled into a groove, recording two quick outs in the sixth inning to get back on his feet. An easy groundball to sophomore second baseman Matt McDermott gave Haney a much-needed quick sixth inning. A hard-hit ball from Thomas added to the CAA lead in doubles this season, but two flyball outs quickly silenced any threat to the Monarch lead. Maguire then exited the game after the sixth inning, enough to notch his first official win of the season. Haney pitched deep into the eighth inning, but a single to left center from junior centerfielder Kyle Battle ended the sophomore’s outing. In the bottom of the eighth inning, with the door closing soon, the College strung together a few baserunners and plated a run, but a double play ended the scoring hopes with only an inning remaining. With just three outs to go, the Tribe could not tie up the ballgame, and sophomore pitcher Connor Muly recorded the save for the Monarchs.
Haney only gave up five hits on the day but was seemingly unable to overcome those four early runs. He would ultimately suffer the loss on the day, pushing his overall season record to an even 2-2. Fellow sophomore Justin Pearson entered the game in relief and effectively shut down the Monarchs over the final 1.1 innings. After Maguire’s exit, the Monarchs used a variety of pitchers to shut down the Tribe, with Muly recording the save on the evening. Only one Tribe player recorded multiple hits, and many players failed to reach base on the evening. In addition, the Tribe left four runners on base.
Looking ahead, the College has several tough games on the road, and with the beginning of the CAA schedule, it will have to put forth more effort. The Tribe will look to bounce back Wednesday night with a quick turnaround, as it hosts Norfolk State at Plumeri Park before heading south for a weekend series with CAA foe North Carolina-Wilmington.