Baseball Outlasted By No. 21 Kent State In Slugfest, 15-10


Rhett Stafford drilled his first collegiate-career home run in Tuesday's loss to Kent State.

Rhett Stafford drilled his first collegiate-career home run in Tuesday's loss to Kent State.

 

March 10, 2009

 

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall University belted four home runs and had a 10-5 lead after six innings, but No. 21 Kent State scored 10 unanswered runs over the final three innings to post a 15-10 victory over the Thundering Herd in Tuesday afternoon's non-conference baseball game at George T. Smailes Field at The Kennedy Center in Huntington.

With the loss, Marshall slips to 4-6 on the season, while Kent State improves to 8-2 overall.

Trailing 10-5 in the top of the seventh, Kent State put three across to cut the lead to 10-8. A two-out two-run triple to right field off the bat of Jared Humphreys highlighted the frame. From there, a balk allowed Humphreys to score the third run of the inning and start the comeback.

A four-run eighth inning allowed the Golden Flashes to take a 12-10 lead. Kent State scored four runs and used three Marshall miscues to swing the game in its favor.

The ninth inning saw Kent State score its final three runs, as Brad Winter hit a two-run double to left field to cap the scoring.

Herd relief pitcher Ian Kadish suffered the loss and moves to 0-1 on the season, while Golden Flash reliever Alan Morrison earned his first win of the season after pitching a solid inning of scoreless relief. Andrew Chafin earned the save after entering up 12-10 in the bottom of the eighth. Chafin pitched two scoreless innings en route to his second save of the season.

After a three-run homer by Greg Rohan gave Kent State a 3-0 advantage in the top of the first, Marshall answered with a pair in the bottom of the second when freshman designated hitter Thor Meeks launched his third home run of the season over the fence in left center, making the score 3-2.

Kent State extended its lead to 5-2 with two runs in the top of the fourth, but in the home half of the frame, sophomore first baseman Victor Gomez blasted a leadoff bomb to straight-away centerfield, and two-batters later, red-shirt freshman left fielder Rhett Stafford found pay dirt when he smashed a two-run homer to left center.

One inning later, Gomez singled in a run and junior third baseman Josh Valle doubled in a run, before Stafford smoked a hot-shot down the third baseline that allowed two runs to score, making the score 9-5 after five complete.

Sophomore right fielder Ben Jurevicius continued his hot hitting, sending his first home run of the season over the wall down the right field line. It was the fourth home run of the game for Marshall, and gave the Herd a 10-5 advantage before Kent State rallied in the final three innings.

Jurevicius and senior shortstop Adam Yeager each extended their hitting streaks to 10 and nine games respectively.

Gomez, Valle, Meeks, Stafford and Jurevicius each recorded two hits, while Stafford drove in four runs.

Sophomore starter Arik Sikula dealt a career-high six strikeouts in the no decision for Marshall.

Kent State was led offensively by Winter and Jimmy Rider who each had four hits. Rohan finished 3-for-6 with four RBIs in the winning effort.

Marshall and Morehead State will meet Wednesday, March 11 at 3:00 p.m. ET. The teams will complete its suspended game from March 4 (game tied 4-4 after 12 innings) and will then play its regularly scheduled game. Morehead State leads the all-time series 67-57-3.