Caleb Ward’s Grand Slam Helps Norfolk State Surge Past ODU, 8-4




Norfolk State Sports Information


NORFOLK, Va. – Senior outfielder Caleb Ward highlighted Norfolk State’s seven-run sixth inning with a grand slam home run to lift the Spartans to an 8-4 non-conference win over cross-town foe Old Dominion on Tuesday evening at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.

NSU (3-13), which snapped a three-game losing streak to the Monarchs (11-3) and 12-game losing streak on the season, trailed 2-0 entering the sixth. Dionte Brown started the rally by being hit by a pitch, and with one out, both Alsander Womack and Mason Velasquez walked. Ward then hit a 1-2 offering from relief pitcher Michael Parmentier over the wall in left to give the Spartans a 4-2 lead.

The Spartans weren’t done, adding three more in the inning. Korey Singh singled and scored on an RBI double off the bat of Adam Collins. Collins later scored on a passed ball, and Brandon Crosby scored the final run of the inning on an ODU error.

Velasquez singled in a run in the ninth to stretch the lead to six.

The Monarchs picked up two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but Spartan reliever Michael Portela picked up the last two outs and stranded the bases loaded to give the Spartans their first win over ODU since 2013.

Velasquez went 2-for-3 and walked twice for the Spartans, who had just one hit through five innings. Brown went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and three stolen bases. Ward knocked in a season-high four runs with his second blast of the season.

Kyle Battle hit a two-run homer in the fourth to stake the Monarchs to a 2-0 edge. The game was delayed by rain not long after that for over an hour after the top of the fifth inning.

Battle’s homer accounted for the only runs against NSU starter Kevin Alicea (1-1) through his five innings of work. The left hander allowed just three hits and two runs and struck out three to earn his first win of the year. Justin Walton worked two scoreless innings of relief and Portela picked up his first career save for the Spartans.

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