Senior Philip Clark
May 11, 2013
BECKLEY, WVa. - Marshall scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning and held on for a 4-3 win over East Carolina Saturday night at Epling Stadium. With the win The Herd (19-30, 6-14) evened the weekend Conference USA series at one game apiece.
Trailing 3-2 going to the eighth inning, Eric Escobedo singled home Isaac Ballou and Nathan Gomez came around to score on a Pirate error. Gray Stafford was hit by a Brett Mabry pitch to start the frame and took second when Ballou walked for the second time in the contested. After an Drew Reynolds took the mound, Gomez reached on a fielder's choice bunt back to the mound where Reynolds gunned down Stafford trying to move up to second.
Escobedo followed with a single to left field plating Ballou and tying the game a three-all. Two batters later Aaron Bossi reached on a throwing error by Bryan Bass wide of Chase McDonald at first, where Gomez scored from second giving Marshall a one-run lead.
Ryan Hopkins (3-2) picked up the win tossing 2.1 scoreless innings of relief with a walk and two strikeouts. Right-hander Aaron Blair went 6.2 frames allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits with five walks and five punch-outs.
Mabry (3-3) suffered the loss allowing two runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings. ECU starter David Lucroy was solid in his outing striking out 11 batters in 5.2 frames. The right-hander gave up a pair of runs (both earned) on three hits and walked four. Reynolds, C-USA's saves leader, worked one inning of relief surrendering the game tying hit in the eighth.
The Herd struck first scoring a run in the fifth inning for a 1-0 lead. Alfredo Brito walked to start the stanza and was lifted for Robert Fajardo as a pinch runner. Fajardo swiped second to move into scoring position, advanced to third on Bossi's bunt single back to Lucroy on the mound and crossed home on a wild pitch.
ECU (27-23, 11-9) knotted the game at one in the sixth when Chase McDonald scored on a Blair wild pitch. McDonald, who was 2-for-4 on the night, led off with a single through the left side. Ben Fultz followed with a walk and both runners moved up 90 feet on Philip Clark's sac bunt.
Ballou helped Marshall retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth at 2-1. The speedy centerfielder walked with one out and moved to third on Gomez' single down the left field line before scoring on another Lucroy wild pitch.
The Pirates plated a pair of runs in the seventh taking their first lead of the game, 3-2. With two outs, Zach Houchins extended his hit streak to 10 games with a single to left field. McDonald followed with a walk and Ben Fultz reached on a fielding error by Sergio Leon at short to load the bases. Clark stepped to the plate and executed a safety squeeze scoring Houchins and tying the game at two. On the same play, Blair fielded the bunt and threw wide of the catcher Matt Kirkwood allowing McDonald to score.
ECU had their opportunities throughout the contest to push across some runs leaving 12 total runners on base. Bass and McDonald each collected a pair of hits, while four others had one hit.
The Pirates will look to take their fifth-straight league series when they take the diamond Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. (ET).