March 9, 2014
Final Stats (PDF)
GREENVILLE, N.C.—With its first series win on the line, Marshall baseball played a team game. The Herd took the series 2-1, winning Sunday’s rubbermatch 5-2.
The series win marks the Herd’s first C-USA series victory since 2013’s No.19 Houston upset, and the first time Marshall has opened up conference play with a series win since sweeping Memphis in 2009.
Starter Matt Margaritonda (Freehold, N.J.) delivered another standout performance, reaching a new career high with 11 strikeouts. In just his fourth career start, the righty tossed a complete game, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) and just two walks. He caught three Pirates looking- Kirk Morgan to leadoff the game, pinch hitter Bryce Harman in the 8th, and Luke Lowery to end the game.
“It’s fun and easy to pitch when your defense is as strong as ours was today,” Margaritonda said. “I put confidence into all my pitches knowing that those guys behind me can get any ball that’s hit, and that’s something hard to find. It makes it a nice and easy game, and it’s not too bad to get a few strikeouts in between.”
“Matt is a competitor,” first year Pitching Coach Josh Newman said of his hurler. “He attacked the hitters and pitched to contact from his first pitch to his last.”
Margaritonda threw just 104 pitches in the contest.
Designated hitter Chase Vogelbach (Ft. Myers, Fla.) scored twice, and launched his first homer of the season, going 2-3 with two RBI.
inning started off with a bang; Vogelbach boarded on a single, catcher Matt Reed
(Purcellville, Va.) was walked, and first baseman TJ Diffenderfer
(Mount Juliet, Tenn.) reached on an error to load the bases.
Right fielder Eric Escobedo (Troup, Ga.) placed a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Vogelbach to score and put the Herd on the board. Escobedo leads the team with four sac flies on the season.
Reed led things off in the 4th, reaching base on another free pass. He then advanced to second on a passed ball, and moved to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Freshman Cory Garrastazu (Miami) entered the game to pinch run for Reed, and crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly from Robert Fajardo (Miami).
The Herd added its final run of the game after Fajardo reached base by error, advanced to second on another ECU miscue, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Vogelbach.
Marshall will play its first mid-week game of the season when the Herd hosts border rival Morehead State Tuesday, March 11.