In six years at ODU Chris Finwood, the 2014 ABCA East Region Coach of the Year, has put the Monarch program back into the national spotlight. One of the nation's best, Finwood celebrated his 400th win at ODU with a 3-2 win over Rice on March 17th at the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex. Since being at the helm of the Old Dominion baseball program, he has guided the Monarchs to 30+ wins in four of the last five seasons, including a 37-21 record last year in 2017, which marked the highest single-season win total for the program since 2006.
In his six-year tenure at ODU, Finwood has produced 12 MLB draft selections, two All-Americans, five Freshman All-Americans and 12 all-conference selections.
YEAR-BY-YEAR AT OLD DOMINION
Old Dominion compiled a 37-21 overall record in 2017, marking the highest single-season win total for the program since 2006. The Monarchs finished second in the Conference USA regular season standings with a 19-11 mark, also setting a new program record for conerence wins during the C-USA era. Finwood guided ODU to a 12-2 record in weekend series, including a sweep of Rice and a road series win at No. 16 Southern Miss. The squad reached a high ranking of No. 25 in the nation by D1 Baseball, marking the first time ODU had been ranked since 2007. Individually, juco transfer Jared Young was named a Third Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball News and was also named the C-USA Newcomer of the Year. Fellow middle infielder Zach Rutheford was named the conference's Defensive Player of the Year and was one of five finalists for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the nation's top shortstop. Three true freshmen, Vinnie Pasquantino, Kyle Battle and John Wilson, were all named Freshman All-Americans by CBN, marking the first time in program history that ODU had multiple Freshman All-Americans. Three Monarchs were selected in the 2017 MLB Draft, as Zach Rutherford was chosen in the 6th round by the Tampa Bay Rays, Jared Young was picked in the 15th round by the Chicago Cubs, and Adam Bainbridge was selected in the 30th round by the Kansas City Royals.
Finwood and the Monarchs started the 2016 season off with a bang after posting two consecutive shutouts, one over then No. 10 NC State (5-0) and the other over Kent State (2-0). The two shutouts marked the first time since 1995 ODU had two straight and the first time since 1992 the Monarchs opened the season with two shutouts. Finwood's Monarchs also enjoyed their fourth straight win over the 2015 National Champions Virginia with a 5-4 comeback effort at Davenport Field.
Old Dominion entered the Conference USA tournament as the No. 5 seed and with two all-conference players. Senior centerfielder Connor Myers and junior pitcher Sam Sinnen both earned Second Team All-Conference USA honors, while Sinnen was named to the C-USA All-Tournament team for his efforts against FIU. Finwood also mentored two players that were selected in the 2016 MLB Draft, as Nick Hartman was chosen in the ninth round by the Toronto Blue Jays and Myers was selected in the 27th round by the Chicago Cubs.
Finwood joined ODU's 100 win club and his Baseball Monarchs (27-29) enjoyed two wins over then No. 1/No. 23 ranked UVA and another top-10 victory over No. 8 ranked Rice. At the conclusion of the season, Finwood saw three players earn Conference USA honors, while freshman Zach Rutherford was named a Freshman All-American on two occasions. Three Monarchs were selected into the MLB draft, as P.J. Higgins was picked in the 12th round by the Chicago Cubs, Greg Tomchick in the 27th round by the St. Louis Cardinals and Taylor Ostrich in the 34th round by the Kansas City Royals.
The Monarchs won 36 games in 2014, finished fourth in Conference USA, reached the league semifinals, and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Regionals, ODU's first since 2000. ODU posted a 36 RPI and played one of the nation's strongest non-conference schedules, beating No. 1 Virginia and C-USA champion Rice. The 2014 Monarchs turned a school record 68 double-plays, which ranked third nationally, and fielded .976, which was good for a top-20 national ranking. Senior reliever Dean Ali was named to C-USA's All-Academic squad, while two Monarchs were selected into the MLB draft, led by Ryan Yarbrough who went in the fourth round to Seattle.
In 2013, the Monarchs won 30 games and placed third in the school's final season in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Monarchs finished the season strong, winning seven of their last 10 games. ODU swept three-game series from NCAA tournament participant William & Mary and a road series at James Madison. Team MVP Ben Verlander was a semifinalist for the Gregg Olson award and two Monarchs were selected in the 2013 MLB draft.