March 6, 2010
STATESBORO, Ga. – The Marshall University baseball team held a 2-0 lead in the fifth, but Georgia Southern used a three-run sixth and added an insurance run in the eighth to defeat the Thundering Herd, 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium.
Josh Valle and Victor Gomez each went 2-for-4 at the dish, with Gomez collecting a double. Isaac Ballou and Chris Norton each tallied RBI singles, while Eric Semeniuk scored a pair of runs as Marshall now sits at 4-5 on the season.
Georgia Southern (5-6) received two-hit games from Arthur Owens and A.J. Wirnsberger in the victory.
The Herd jumped on the scoreboard early against Eagle starter Matt Murray (1-0). Ballou led off the game with a walk and moved up to second on an errant pickoff attempt. Valle laced a single to right field scoring the speedy Ballou as he easily raced home to score the first run of the contest.
MU kept swinging the bats in the bottom of the second, adding a run on three hits in the frame. Semeniuk scored the second run for the Herd on a two-out RBI base hit from Ballou to right field.
Shane Farrell cruised through the first 5.0 innings on the hill for the Herd until he finally fell into trouble in the sixth. A leadoff walk to Kyle Blackburn started the frame before A.J. Wirnsberger connected for a two-run homer to left center to even the score, 2-2 and knock Farrell from the ball game. The righty finished the afternoon with six strikeouts and four walks, while giving up just two earned runs on three hits and did not figure in the decision.
The Eagles added another run in the sixth off reliever Arik Sikula (1-2). With runners on the corners, pinch hitter Steve Cochrane lined a single into the right-center field gap off the glove of diving centerfielder Ballou to take the one run edge.
In the bottom of the eighth, GS added an insurance run which proved to be the difference in the game when Owens slapped a two-out RBI single to put the Eagles up 4-2.
MU would not go quiet in the ninth against GS closer Dexter Bobo. Semeniuk began the rally drawing a walk. After Bobo retired the next two batters, pinch hitter Chris Norton lined a base hit up the middle to plate Semeniuk and cut the deficit to a single run, 4-3. Bobo was able to retire the final out and earn his second save of the season for the Eagles.
Murray labored through 6.1 innings allowing eight hits, but held the Herd to just two runs, only one earned, to pick up his first victory of the season.
The series finale will be played Sunday at J.I. Clements Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Live stats are available through GameTracker at HerdZone.com and live video streaming is available for purchase at GeorgiaSouthernEagles.com.