Marshall Falls to USC Upstate 6-5
Ballou, Dundon, Kirkwood collect two hits
March 3, 2013
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the second game in a row, the Marshall baseball team fell victim to a walkoff as USC Upstate defeated the Thundering Herd 6-5 Sunday at Harley Park.
Marshall held a two-run lead going into the bottom of the ninth and looked poised to end its long weekend on a positive note, but Tyler Lesch’s bases-loaded, two-out, two-strike single to left proved otherwise.
Marshall lost its fifth straight to fall to 3-7. Upstate (8-2) won its third straight.
Aaron Blair was in line for the victory after going 6.0 innings with three hits, two runs (both earned), two walks, and six strikeouts. Blair hit the first batter of the game then saw Lesch reach on an error before sitting down the next 11. Upstate did not record a hit off the right-hander until the fifth, after Marshall spent nearly half an hour building a 3-0 lead.
Gray Stafford put Marshall on the board in the fifth when he doubled to right field to lead off. After a sacrifice bunt by Matt Kirkwood moved Stafford to third, Chase Vogelbach batted him in with a single to left. Vogelbach’s single was the first of three in a row for the Herd as Sergio Leon and Isaac Ballou followed with base hits of their own.
Upstate got two of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth.
Back-to-back doubles by Ballou and Nathan Gomez in the eighth helped Marshall extend its lead to 4-2, and after Upstate answered with a run in the bottom half, Stafford was able to score again in the ninth to make it 5-3.
Josh King pitched the seventh and eighth for the Herd, allowing two hits and one (earned) run while striking out two and walking none.
In the ninth, a one-out double off sophomore Matt Margaritonda (0-2) was followed by an RBI-single and a walk. A grounder to third produced the second out of the inning and moved runners to second and third, paving the way for Lesch’s single two batters later.
The single for Lesch was his only hit of the day.
Dundon finished the game 2-for-2 with an RBI and two sacrifices. Kirkwood was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice. Ballou was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run.
Brody Greer (1-0) was the winning pitcher.
Marshall will be back on the road next weekend for a four-game series with Northern Kentucky in Highland Heights, Ky.