Herd Insider Columnist Steve Cotton previews the spring season
Former Marshall pitcher Aaron Blair was selected as the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Year
The Herd will face EKU Tuesday and WVU Wednesday to closeout midweek season
Marshall to face Mountaineers Wednesday in Morgantown
Marshall will face in-state rival WVU Tuesday
Career: Became the highest Marshall draft selection in the history of the program when he was taken 36th overall (a compensation pick in between the first and second round) by the Arizona Diamondbacks following his junior season...also drafted in the 21st round in 2010 by the Houston Astros out of high school...made seven starts and appeared in 12 games in his true freshman season...led the team in earned run average (2.72) in his first year of collegiate ball...has thrown 200 strikeouts in 202.0 innings (8.91 SO/9)...ranks sixth all-time at Marshall for career strikeouts...ranks eighth with 34 career starts...a Louisville Slugger national pitcher of the week and NCBWA national pitcher of the week as well as a two-time C-USA pitcher of the week...named to the USA Baseball preseason and midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list in junior season...named to the C-USA All-Freshman team in 2011 and the C-USA All-Conference first team in 2013.
2013: Named C-USA All-Conference first team after handing in 10 quality starts in his junior season...threw a quality start in seven of eight conference outings...C-USA pitcher of the week twice (3/25 and 4/8)...named to the USA Baseball preseason and midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list...NCBWA national pitcher of the week and Louisville Slugger national pitcher of the week after tossing an eight-inning two-hitter against No. 19 Houston (4/6)...put himself on cruise control during the month of March, going 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in four starts (25.0 IP)...gave up only one run over his first 17 innings of conference play...struck out 10 or more three times and eight or more five times...kept rival West Virginia hitless in six innings of work (3/19)...threw a complete-game three-hitter in a 1-0 loss to Memphis (5/4)...ranked fourth in C-USA in strikeouts looking (29), fourth in opposing batting average (.198), fifth in hits allowed (59), and seventh in C-USA in total strikeouts (84)...in league-only games, was tied for first in strikeouts looking (20), second in strikeouts (52), seventh in ERA (2.87), and eighth in opposing average (.222)...his 84 strikeouts ranked fifth for a single season among Marshall pitchers...lasted eight-plus innings in back-to-back starts (Tulane on 4/27 and Memphis on 5/4).
2012 Summer League: Pitched for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2012...went 6-0 while leading the league with a 1.17 earned run average over 38.1 innings in the regular season...added a 2-0 record during the postseason and helped the Red Sox advance to the league championship...struck out a total of 60 hitters in 51.1 innings of summer ball.
2012: One of only two Herd pitchers to make 14 weekend starts...posted a 2-8 record despite six quality starts...struck out a team-leading 82 hitters which ranked fourth in Conference USA...struck out 13 against Gardner-Webb (3/9) in his first winning decision of the season...threw 4.2 perfect innings and carried a no-hitter with two out in the eighth against Southern Miss (4/27)...allowed only three home runs over 83.2 innings...3.98 earned run average was best among Marshall starters...tallied his 100th career punchout against Southern Miss (4/27).
2011: Made seven starts on the mound in his true freshman season...went 2-3 in 12 appearances...led the team in earned run average (2.72)...struck out 34 in 36.1 innings of work...allowed 11 earned runs and only eight extra-base hits...opponents batted .254...pitched 17.2 innings with a 1.53 earned run average in last three starts...named to the C-USA All-Freshman team.
High School: Drafted in the 21st round of the MLB draft by the Houston Astros...named Nevada First Team All-State, All-Sunset Conference and All-Southwest Division...posted a 6-4 record with nine complete games, 64 innings and 91 strikeouts...held opponents to a .181 batting average...hit at .449 clip, seven homers, 23 total extra-base hits and 43 RBI...selected as the starting pitcher for the Sunset-Sunrise All-Star Game...played for the 2010 National Champion Ohio Warhawks and the Team Vegas Baseball Club in 2009.
Personal: Born May 26, 1992...son of Craig and Janice Blair...father played baseball at UNLV...has one brother, Garrett, who plays baseball at CSN...majoring in marketing.