March 8, 2014
Box Score Game 1 | Box Score Game 2
GREENVILLE, N.C.— Marshall opened 2014 Conference USA play splitting a double header with East Carolina. Josh King (Troup, Ga.) picked up his second win of the year in the first game as Marshall defeated the Pirates 9-8.
The Herd couldn’t repeat, falling in game two 1-0 and marking the first time this year the Herd had been shutout.
An insurance run scored by Aaron Bossi (St. Louis, Mo.) off of two sacrifice bunts proved essential to Marshall in game one after the Herd gave up three runs in the bottom of the 9th to put everyone on edge.
A 4th inning double in game two was all ECU needed to take game two, despite collecting 10 hits off Herd starter Michael Taylor (St. Albans, W.Va.).
Marshall heated things up from the beginning, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Corey Bird (Elkview, W.Va.) and Andrew Dundon (Lincoln Park, N.J.) each took a walk to board the bases. They advanced on a single from cleanup hitter Cory Garrastazu (Miami).
Bird plated the first run of the game on a fielder’s choice ball from first baseman John Beary (Apopka, Fla.). Dundon and Garrastazu provided some extra excitement scoring on a Matt Reed (Purcellville, Va.) single to right field.
The Pirates replied with a run in the bottom of the first, after King gave up three singles in a row in the first.
Marshall added to its lead in the 5th with three more runs. Beary led things off after being hit by a pitch for the fifth time in three games. Another single from Reed put runners on first and second, and freshman Brenden Wells (Beloit, Ohio) was called upon to pinch run for Beary.
Wells scored on a wild pitch, Reed came around to score, and sophomore Aaron Bossi (St. Louis, Mo.) who was on base by a walk also plated a run.
Again the Pirates responded, scoring two runs on two sacrifice flies.
The game continued in the same fashion, Marshall scoring first and ECU playing catch-up.
The Herd took a 8-3 lead into the bottom of the 7th. After King gave up a lead off single and walk, lefty Sam Hunter (Ashland, Ky.) was sent in as relief. Hunter faced two batters, allowing a walk to load the bases and hit left fielder Drew Reynolds to give ECU another run.
Ryan Hopkins (Sardinia, Ohio) took over on the mound, and worked a double play on his second pitch of the game. Another ECU run came across in the process, narrowing the Herd lead to 8-5.
In what would turn out to be a very beneficial run, Bossi scored again on two sacrifice bunts from left fielder Robert Fajardo (Miami) and Bird.
ECU made things interesting in its final at-bats, plating three runs off of three hits from Marshall reliever Clint Wilson (Austin, Texas).
With runners on the corners, a fly out to right ended the Pirates comeback and gave sophomore Alex Thackston (Proctorville, Ohio) his first save of the season.
Marshall left 12 on base through the course of the game.
The offensive explosion that Marshall delivered in the first game seemed to have been doused with the cooling temperatures of game two.
Marshall scattered just four hits through the game, and left runners on base in four innings.
In a fast-paced game, ECU scored in the bottom of the 4th for the first run of the game. This marked the first time that the Pirates had scored first this season.
Taylor threw 6.2 innings, giving up 10 hits and two walks. In the 4th, a leadoff double to Ian Townsend presented Taylor with trouble. Townsend advanced on a single, and then scored off of a Travis Watkins sacrifice fly.
The lone run proved to be enough for the Pirates, who had 10 hits in the contest.