March 9, 2017
Box Score (PDF)
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - The Marshall baseball team suffered a 9-3 setback in the series opener of its three-game set against Niagara on Thursday afternoon at the Kennedy Center Field.
The loss snapped Marshall’s five game win streak as it moves to 6-6 overall. The Purple Eagles improve to 7-5.
The scoring began in the top of the first inning as Niagara’s Philippe Langlois hit a single to right field that drove in Joel Brophy.
Marshall responded in the bottom half of the frame. After a Sam Finfer single to left, third basemen Tyler Ratliff hit a two-run homer over the right-center fence to put Marshall ahead, 2-1.
Niagara went on to take the lead, 3-2, in the top of the fifth inning. Greg Cullen reached on an infield hit, then came around to score from first on a Peter Battaglia double down the left field line. Later in the inning, Battaglia scored off of a Trevor McCauley single through the right side.
Once again the Thundering Herd was quick to answer its deficit in the bottom half of the inning. Finfer tied the game at three with a solo home run that went into the parking lot beyond the right field fence. It was Finfer’s team-high fifth homer of the season and team-high 17th RBI.
Niagara regained the lead in the seventh inning. Battaglia singled to left and drove in Cullen, giving the Purple Eagles a 4-3 advantage.
Niagara took control of the contest in the eighth inning by scoring four runs on one hit. After two walks and an error on the Herd, Cullen hit a grand slam over the center field wall to give the Purple Eagles a 8-3 lead.
The Purple Eagles tacked on one more run in the top of the ninth off a double to left field.
On the mound, starting pitcher Wade Martin went five innings with five strikeouts. The sophomore allowed three runs on nine hits and walked two batters. Hunter Sexton and Jacob Niggemeyer came in relief for Martin. Sexton picked up his first loss by surrendering five runs on two hits through 2.1 innings. Niggemeyer pitched 1.2 innings with three strikeouts.
Marshall was led at the plate by Finfer, Ratliff and Shane Hanon. Finer was 2-for-4 with one RBI and two runs. Ratliff was 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Hanon earned his first multi-hit game of the season with two singles.
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Marshall returns to the Kennedy Center Field on Route 2 on Friday at 2 p.m. for game two against the Niagara Purple Eagles. Sophomore left-handed pitcher Joshua Shapiro is scheduled to get the start.