Vinny Pasquantino smashed what looked to be a two-run home run that would have given Old Dominion a 3-0 lead over Rice in the third inning. Instead, it was a game-changing catch over the wall from Rice’s Dayne Wunderlich to rob Pasquantino. Rice scored three in the bottom half of the frame, and held on to beat the Monarchs 4-3 in the second game of the Conference USA tournament.
Another key play for ODU happened in the fifth, when Culver Lamb slid home, scored from second base and appeared to tie the game at 3-3. But the home-plate umpire ruled Lamb had interfered with the catcher, and called it an out at the plate. Visibly and understandably livid, ODU head coach Chris Finwood argued the call, but to no avail.
“I thought it was a great game,” said Finwood, who’s team will try to fend off elimination against the 3-seed Florida Atlantic on Friday. “We had a tough call there at the plate that would have tied it up and then we gave them a couple runs by missing the cut-off man in the inning that they got three, but you know in close games like that those things show up.”
The University of Virginia, who finished the regular season no. 10 in the nation after winning eight of its last 11 games, fell to the Duke Blue Devils 4-3 and were eliminated from championship contention. The Cavaliers will close out their ACC tournament play against Clemson at noon on Friday.