Hempstead, NY- Old Dominion's Chris Buss hit a ninth inning grand slam-his second of the game-to break a tie and propel the Monarchs to a 14-10 victory over Hofstra in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup on Friday afternoon at University Field.
Buss also hit a home run with the bases loaded in the first inning, finishing 6-for-6 with four extra-base hits, four runs scored and nine RBIs in logging the first two grand slam-game in ODU history. Junior Kevin Flynn (Morristown, NJ) went 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs for the Pride. Junior Mike Walraven (Thompson Ridge, NY) finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored.
Senior Elliot Hagburg (East Hanover, NJ) and junior Scott A'Hara (Downingtown, PA) also drove in two runs each for Hofstra. But the Pride fell to 20-26-1 and 10-12 in conference play. Old Dominion's Josh Wright went 3-for-6 with three RBIs as the Monarchs moved to 22-30 and 9-13 against the CAA.
Both teams scored four runs in the first inning to start the slugfest. Buss started his career-best day by taking freshman starter Jared Rogers' pitch over the leftfield wall with one-out, putting the Monarchs ahead, 4-0.
Hofstra responded by lining three hits off ODU ace Kyle Hald. A fielding error led to three of the four runs being unearned as Hagburg delivered a two-run single to left.
The Pride scored three more runs against Hald, taking advantage of another error by first baseman Chris Baker. A'Hara's two-RBI single capped the rally and Hofstra extended its lead to 8-4 in the third off freshman Matt Ford's (Lansing, NY) run-scoring single.
Buss nearly hit another home run in the third, sending a double off the wall but was stranded. Buss almost had a four home-run game as his eighth inning double also hit off the wall.
After scoring in the first, Old Dominion was kept off the scoreboard again until the fifth when the Monarchs plated two more runs off Rogers. Nathan Hartman's sacrifice fly to center made it 8-6 as Rogers departed with the lead after going five innings.
The Monarchs pulled ahead in the sixth, scoring three runs in sending nine men to the plate. ODU put two men on with two out before Hofstra called on junior Jeff Guthridge (Bel Air, MD) to keep the lead. Buss greeted the sidearm throwing Guthridge with a RBI single and Joshua Wright added a two-run single two batters later to give the Monarchs a 9-8 edge.
Down 10-8 entering the eighth, Austin Wright retired the first two Pride hitters. Two straight singles brought up senior John Kenny (Franklin Square, NY) who sent a RBI single to center. Flynn followed with a single in nearly the same spot in the outfield, allowing senior Ethan Paquette (West Burke, VT) to score the tying run.
Adam Wisniewski got the last out to keep the game tied and watched as ODU responded against Pride freshman closer Matt Watkins (San Carlos, CA). Donnie Corsner lifted a double to center that hit the top of the wall for a leadoff double.
A groundout moved Corsner to third. An infield single and a wild pitch prompted Hofstra to intentionally walk Baker to load the bases and set up the double play. Buss instead drove Watkins' pitch deep to left for his second home run of the game and fifth of the season to make it 14-10. Watkins fell to 0-1 while Wisniewski pitched a scoreless ninth to improve to 3-2.
Baker extended his hitting streak to 26 games for the Monarchs. Guthridge also reached a milestone, logging his 29th appearance this season to set a new Hofstra single-season record. The right-handed Guthridge surpassed Jeff Denlea's record of 28 appearances set in 2005.
The second game of the three game series will be Saturday. Game time at University Field is set for 2 p.m.