March 4, 2006
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Behind a stellar starting pitching performance by Chris Koutsavlis (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and the largest offensive output in nearly four years, the Marshall baseball team downed Buffalo, 20-3, Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader at University Heights Field. The Herd swept the twinbill after winning the first game, 10-9.
It was the Herd's largest margin of victory since a 19-2 win over Eastern Michigan in 2003 and the most runs scored since posting 20 against Eastern Kentucky in 2002.
Koutsavlis (1-1) went 7.1 innings, allowing just one run and five hits while walking two and striking out eight. He retired 11 batters in a row from the end of the fourth inning to the eighth inning. It was the longest start by a Herd starting pitcher this season.
Brendan Murphy (Jr., Chattanooga, Tenn.) provided the big bat with a three-run home run, his second home run in as many days. He reached base four times and scored two runs. Rich Russell (Sr., Toronto, Ontario) reached base five times, with three coming as a result of being hit by pitches. In eight games this season, he has been hit by nine pitches. He also scored five times.
Buffalo drew first blood on a David Amaro RBI single in the first inning. Marshall responded with three of its own in the bottom of the frame. With one out Chris Monaco (Sr., Tucson, Ariz.) reached on a fielding error. Russell hit a double to the wall in right-center field to score Monaco. Three batters later, Aaron Levinson (Sr., Seattle, Wash.) singled on an 0-2 pitch to score Russell and Murphy and give the Herd a 3-1 lead.
Marshall scored single runs in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Adam Frederick (Sr., Franklin, Pa.) scored Russell with a sacrifice fly, and in the fifth, Adam Ptacek (Sr., Assaria, Kan.) singled to score Brent Mason (Sr., Sherwood, Ark.).
The Herd tacked on four runs in the sixth inning. Monaco started the scoring with a perfect suicide squeeze to score Brit Vincent (Jr., Bowling Green, Ky.). After Russell was hit by a pitch, Murphy launched an Adam Ruszkowski offering high over the wall in center for a three-run home run to give the Herd a commanding 9-1 lead.
Marshall tacked on 11 runs in the eighth inning, sending 17 batters to the plate to push the lead to 20-1. Derek Hagen (So., Milton, W.Va.) had a two-run single and bases-loaded walk in the inning, while Roddy Stieger (Sr., West Chester, Ohio) had two run-scoring singles. The Herd had just four hits in the inning, but walked five times, was hit by three pitches and reached base twice by Bulls errors.
Dan Francis (1-1) took the loss for Buffalo, going 3.1 innings, allowing four hits, five runs (two earned) and two walks while striking out two.
The Bulls and Herd tangle in the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.