Feb. 17, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Marshall baseball team led early but ultimately fell to the NC State Wolfpack by a score of 10-3 Friday afternoon.
The Thundering Herd scored twice in the third inning thanks to RBI base hits from Isaac Ballou and Gray Stafford, but NC State responded with four runs in the fifth and six more in the eighth to pull away late in the game. Aaron Blair, who pitched 4.2 innings and gave up only one earned run, was dealt the loss. He and Marshall dropped to 0-1 this season while NC State improved to 1-0.
Marshall had its chances. Through the first four innings, the Herd led 2-0 and looked poised for an opening day victory. In the fifth, Marshall gave up that lead, but kept the game within striking distance as freshman Matt Margaritonda worked his way out of a jam.
In Marshall's ensuing frame, Stafford delivered his second base hit of the game to set up a double steal which plated Ballou from third. This cut the NC State lead to 4-3, and after a pair of effective innings from Margaritonda and Terrence Moore, the teams entered the eighth with only a run separating them.
In Marshall's eighth, Stafford reached base a third time - via a walk - but was unable to advance any further.
NC State's eighth included three hits and four walks as the Wolfpack batted around the order, scoring six. Moore, Jesse Fernandez, and freshman Kolin Stanley all saw time out of the pen in that inning.
Ballou finished the game 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Stafford went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Freshman shortstop Andrew Dundon
provided Marshall's only other hit, going 1-for-2 in his collegiate debut. The Herd received no help from the middle of its lineup as the heart of the order went a combined 0-for-16.
Blair gave up four runs on four hits, walked one, and struck out three in 4.2 innings of work.
NC State's reliever, Carlos Rodon, struck out seven in four innings and earned the win.
Marshall will move to nearby Cary, N.C. for two games on Saturday: Canisius (12 p.m.) and Bryant (3:30 p.m.). Live stats will be available for both games through Gametracker along with updates through live chat and Twitter.