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@HerdBaseball Drops Season Opener at Georgia State

Hunter Sexton
Feb. 17, 2017

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ATLANTA - Marshall baseball (0-1) dropped its season opener to Georgia State (1-0), 8-3, Friday evening at the GSU Baseball Complex.
Cory Garrastazu led off for the Thundering Herd in the first inning. The Miami native hit a grounder to the second baseman, who threw the ball wide and forced the first baseman off the bag to give the Herd a lead off runner. Garrastazu stole second during the following at-bat, and was moved over to third on a Sam Finfer groundout. Garrastazu gave Marshall a 1-0 lead after a wild pitch from Bryce Conley.
The lead did not last long for the Herd. Georgia State led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run to right center field. The Panthers threatened to take the lead with the bases load, but starting pitcher Wade Martin struck out Brandon Gonzalez to preserve the 1-all tie.
Georgia State took the lead in the second with a two-out single up the middle that scored Jaylen Woullard from second. The Panthers went on to add two more runs in the third off a fielding error from Leo Valenti.
The ballgame began to settle down in the fourth inning, as freshman Hunter Sexton made his collegiate debut. The Jackson, Ohio, native tossed one pitch in the frame and got a 9-5-6-2 double play.  
Neither team was able to push a run across the plate until the bottom of the eighth inning. With a 4-1 lead in tack, Georgia State added four runs in the inning to put the game out of reach.
Marshall picked up two runs in the ninth on the final play of the game. Andrew Zban flew out to left field with the bases loaded to give the Thundering Herd two outs. Tommy Lane was able to tag up from third and score on the play. Following Lane crossing home plate, Dakota Robbins was caught in a run down between first and second, but outlasted the tag long enough for Reynaldo Pastrana to score from second.
Lane, Pastrana and Valenti each had one hit in the contest.
Martin picked up the loss for the Herd by going 3.1 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits. Only three of the runs were earned. The Portsmouth, Ohio, native had four strikeouts. Sexton, Sam Boone and Jacob Bradley made their Marshall debuts. Matt Reed made his first collegiate appearance on the mound, and tossed one inning with a strikeout. Sexton and Boone each had two strikeouts.
Conley earned the win for the Panthers. He went 5.1 innings and allowed only one run and had nine strikeouts. Georgia State was led at the plate by Cam Sperry, who went 4-for-4 with one run scored.
Marshall is back in action tomorrow afternoon against No. 21 Georgia Tech at 2 p.m. Junior Jacob Niggemeyer will be on the mound for the Herd, while Johnathan Hughes gets the start for the Yellow Jackets.