Feb. 17, 2006
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Marshall baseball team opened its 2006 season Friday with a 7-3 loss to Belmont in the first game of a doubleheader at Greer Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. The teams see-sawed back and forth until the seventh inning, when the Bruins put four on the board to seal the outcome.
Marshall was paced by Brendan Murphy (Jr., Chattanooga, Tenn.), who went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his first game with the Thundering Herd. Brit Vincent (Jr., Bowling Green, Ky.) ripped his first home run as a member of the Herd in the ninth inning. On the mound, Andrew Slone (Jr., Paintsville, Ky.) was solid, allowing eight hits and three runs (two earned) in 5.1 innings of work, although he was saddled with the defeat.
Ben Petsch went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI for Belmont, while Charles Lee started the game and pitched seven innings of two-run, eight-strikeout baseball to earn the win.
Belmont did most of its damage in the seventh inning against Marshall reliever Jimmy Stanley (Fr., Lexington, Ky.), as it broke open what was a tightly-contested 3-2 game. With one out, Ben Petsch singled to center field. On the ensuing pitch, Wilson Tucker launched a two-run home run to left field. Kane Simmons followed with a single to left center and Sam Grooms brought him home with a triple over the head of Chris Monaco (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) in deep center field. Carlo Testa scored Grooms with a groundout to give the Bruins a 7-2 advantage.
The Herd got off to a quick start with a run in the first inning. With two outs, Richard Russell (Sr., Toronto, Ontario) was hit by a pitch. After a balk by Lee, Murphy scored Russell with a single to left.
Belmont rallied with a run in the second, but Marshall came right back with a run of its own in the fourth. Roddy Stieger (Sr., West Chester, Ohio) led off with a double, and moved to third on a Vincent sacrifice bunt. Jimmy Mathias (Jr., Stephens City, Va.) scored Stieger with a sacrifice fly to center.
Marshall dodged a bullet in the sixth inning. With one out, Testa reached on a walk. He advanced to second on a Jon Camp single and moved to third when Adam Ptacek (Sr., Assaria, Kan.) bobbled the ball in right field. Stanley replaced Slone and promptly struck out Brady Manifold and induced Aaron Lautman to fly to Ptacek, who made a diving catch on the first-base line.
The Herd got its final run in the ninth inning when Vincent crushed a Chris Manning pitch and deposited it off the guitar-shaped scoreboard in deep left field.