Feb. 25, 2011
NASHVILLE – Behind a strong five-inning outing from starter Shane Farrell and four relievers keeping Lipscomb off the scoreboard, the Marshall University baseball team staved off the Bison, 3-2 at Dugan Field on Friday evening.
Farrell (1-0) allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits with three strikeouts to propel the Thundering Herd to a 3-1 overall record on the young season. All four games for MU this season have been decided by two runs or less.
The bullpen was spot on over the last four frames, holding the Bison offense to just two hits with four strikeouts. Austin Pratt worked two innings with three strikeouts, while Kyle Blank and James White retired the three outs in the eighth. Closer Ian Kadish shut down the Lipscomb batters in the ninth to secure the one-run victory and collect his first save of the season.
Offensively, MU managed just five hits, three coming off the bat of Victor Gomez. Kenny Socorro added a RBI single and scored a run, Thor Meeks added a sac fly and leadoff hitter Isaac Ballou scored twice in the win.
Lipscomb (3-3) received two-hit games from Richie Goodenow, Josh Chism and Tennyson Dodd. Goodenow(0-1) was also the tough-luck loser, pitching 7.0 innings giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts.
Marshall took little time from the opening pitch to put Lipscomb and Goodenow in trouble. Ballou drew a four-pitch walk and would later move up 90-feet on an errant throw by Goodenow on a failed pick-off attempt. The next batter, Socorro, advanced Ballou to third when he popped up to first base in foul territory. V.Gomez, hitting in the third slot of the lineup, laced a base hit to right, giving the Herd the early 1-0 lead.
In the second, Dodd led off the inning with a double and would later come around on a fielder’s choice to even the score with Kyle Henry getting credited with the RBI. The run was unearned as Dodd moved up to third on an infield error earlier in the frame.
Chism knocked a two-out RBI base hit up-the-middle to give Lipscomb the lead, 2-1, in the bottom of the third.
The Herd was held hitless from the first all the way until the fifth, when the top of the MU lineup responded. With one out, Ballou drew a walk and stole second to reach scoring position for Socorro. The Miami, Fla., native roped a single between shortstop and third allowing MU assistant coach Tim Donnelly to wave home Ballou. The throw from outfielder M.L. Williams beat Ballou, but he made a wrap-around slide and collided with the catcher, jarring the ball loose to even the score at two runs apiece.
V.Gomez continued the damage by lining a single to right to put runners on the corners. Cleanup hitter Meeks slugged a ball deep to rightfield, allowing Socorro time to race home to score what ended up being the game-winning run.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Bison threatened against the Herd bullpen. Blank retired his only batter by way of strikeout before giving way for James White. The righty gave up consecutive singles, before he induced an inning-ending, rally-killing 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Ricky Coleman, keeping the one-run lead intact. The double play was the first converted this season.
Kadish sent the Bison down in order in the ninth, getting a fly out by T.J. Hoelzer to outfielder Justin Maynard to end the game and take game one of the three-game series.
Marshall is back on the diamond on Saturday against Lipscomb at 3 p.m. EST. LHP Mike Mason (0-0, 1.80 ERA) will take the bump for the Herd against RHP Connor Sinclair.
NOTES: Nathan Gomez made his first career start in the OF…V.Gomez collected his 12th career three-hit game…Justin Maynard entered his fourth-straight game off the MU bench…Marshall has scored a run in the first inning in three consecutive games…the 6-4-3 double play turned by Socorro-Victor Ramos-V.Gomez was the first twin-killing play converted this season.