Feb. 24, 2012
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The Marshall baseball team once again got on the board first but ultimately fell to Charleston Southern by a score of 13-3 in the first of a four-game series at Buccaneer Ballpark Friday afternoon.
The loss marked the third time this season the Thundering Herd (1-3) scored first but went on to lose the lead later in the game. Charleston Southern (3-2) increased its win streak to three games.
Marshall scored in the third inning for the fourth time this season when Isaac Ballou's single through the right side plated freshman Sergio Leon from second. Two batters earlier, Leon had singled to center field before being moved to second by a Mikey Jimenez sacrifice bunt.
In Charleston Southern's half of the inning, Herd starter Aaron Blair found himself in his first jam but worked his way out with only two runs of damage. Back-to-back hits to lead things off had the Buccaneers thinking about a big inning, but Blair worked to retire three of the next five and escape the inning allowing just two runs.
The Bucs used two hits and a pair of wild pitches to add two more runs of insurance in the fifth, but a composed Blair again worked through the jam with two quick punch-outs.
Blair worked through the sixth and eventually took the loss to move to 0-2 this season. The sophomore gave up six hits and four earned runs in 6.0 innings pitched.
In the CSU seventh, the Buccaneers scored four runs on five hits and left three stranded as the Herd bullpen struggled to find a rhythm.
The eighth was more of the same. Charleston Southern again batted around the order and tallied five runs on six hits.
Marshall scored a run in each of its last two chances. In the eighth, Andrew Dundon
singled to center with one out, went to third on a Buccaneer error, then scored on a passed ball.
The ninth saw Eric Semeniuk leg out an infield single, then Alfredo Brito hustle around the bases to score from first on a double from freshman John Gandolfo. Semeniuk reached first on a swinging bunt that had CSU third baseman Jaren Sustar charging in to make a late throw. Brito took Semeniuk's place on the basepath when he reached on a fielder's choice in the succeeding at-bat. Two batters later, Gandolfo laced a gapper to right-center for a double and an RBI in his first collegiate at-bat. Brito's slide around Buccaneer catcher Drew Woodall came a split second earlier than the relay throw in.
Ballou, Nathan Gomez, Semeniuk, Leon, and Dundon all had singles for the Herd. Gandolfo provided the RBI double with two outs in the ninth. Ballou's hit streak increased to eight games.
The Herd held the red-hot Bobby Ison to 1-for-3 with a walk, but five other Buccaneers had multiple hit days. Shortstop Alex Tomasovich went 3-for-5, and Sustar went 3-for-4. Brian Welch dealt the most damage with a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.
Charleston Southern starter Charlie McCready moved to 1-0 this season. The senior allowed four hits and struck out nine in 7.2 innings pitched.
The Herd will square off with Charleston Southern twice on Saturday, beginning at 11:30 a.m. In-game chats and live stats will once again be made available to fans wishing to follow the action.