Comeback Cuts Herd Chance in 9th
Marshall entered the 9th with a 5-3 lead
March 2, 2014
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.—In its final game of the Caravelle Resort Tournament, Marshall baseball faced off against Rhode Island (2-10) Sunday morning. The Herd battled hard, as the game down to the final inning, but the Rams defeated Marshall 6-5.
As with every game of the weekend, the Herd’s opponents struck first. A leadoff walk to Rhode Island’s Mike Sherburne proved to be problematic, after Sherburne came around to score after an error and single.
Marshall replied in the top of the 2nd. First baseman TJ Diffenderfer (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) got aboard on an error. A walk advanced him to second and brought left fielder Robert Fajardo (Miami) to the plate. The speedster bunted down the third base line, and beat the throw to first as Diffenderfer headed to third with the bases loaded.
Leadoff batter Sergio Leon (Miami) attempted the very same play and discombobulated the Rams’ infield, allowing Diffenderfer to score and Leon to be safe at first.
With a tied score, Rhode Island plated two runs in the bottom of the 2nd off of two singles, hit by pitch, and a wild pitch. Marshall then brought in right-hander Clint Wilson (Austin, Texas) to take over pitching duties. Wilson had two K’s over 5.1 innings of work without giving up a hit or a walk.
Marshall entered the top of the 3rd, eager to make some noise on offense.
With one out, freshman cleanup hitter Cory Garrastazu (Miami) got on with a single to right center. Catcher Matt Reed (Purcellville, Va.) moved him to third when he ripped a double to deep left, and Garrastazu was able to score on an RBI single from Diffenderfer- his first hit of 2014.
Reed then tied the game, scoring on a sacrifice fly from the Herd’s Eric Escobedo (Troup, Ga.).
The contest remained at a stalemate until the top of the 8th, when Reed led things off with a strikeout that the catcher dropped. Reed hustled to first and was safe after a throwing error from the Ram’s catcher.
Diffenderfer then smacked his second hit of the game (and season) to right center to put two on with no outs.
The Herd then made a strategic move- bringing in freshman Brenden Wells (Beloit, Ohio) to run for Diffenderfer, and another sacrifice from Escobedo- this time a bunt- moved the runners up a base.
The bases were then loaded after sophomore Aaron Bossi (St. Louis, Mo.) was hit by a pitch.
With two outs, Leon returned to the plate, hitting the ball hard to the Rams’ third baseman. He was again discombobulated and struggled with the ball, and unable to make a play anywhere.
Reed scored to give the Herd its first lead of the game. Wells intensified the lead when he walked in to put the Herd up 5-3.
With the lead in the 8th, the Herd called upon senior Ryan Hopkins to take over on the mound. Hopkins sat Rhode Island down in order, fanning two.
Reliever Kolin Stanley (Beloit, Ohio) was sent out to close out the game in the 9th. The redshirt junior began with a walk and then gave up two singles to give the Rams’ back a run.
He was then replaced by lefty Sam Hunter (Ashland, Ky.), who came in to face just one batter, giving up a single through third base to allow the Rams’ to tie the game once again at five all.
Rhode Island reclaimed the lead for good after a fly out to left allowed the Rams’ TJ Lynch to tag up and score from third and take the game 6-5.
Junior Andrew Dundon (Lincoln Park, N.J.) went 2-5 in the contest.