Fifth and Sixth Inning Scoring Outburst Gives Marshall Big Win|
March 10, 2012
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- The Marshall baseball team hit two home runs – including a grand slam from freshman Adrian Farris – as the Thundering Herd came from behind to defeat Gardner-Webb 13-5 in game two of the three-game series on Saturday.
Thor Meeks had the other home run – a three-run shot to center field – which gave the Herd a 4-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning. Marshall used Farris’ grand slam down the left field line to help add six more runs and extend that lead to 10-2 an inning later.
Eight different members of the Herd recorded a hit, and another eight scored a run as Marshall improved to 6-8 and won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Marshall starter Mike Mason pitched 7.0 innings and allowed only two runs (one earned) on six hits. The senior also struck out a season high eight hitters which helped him claim his third victory of the season.
Gardner-Webb (9-5) drew first blood when it strung together three straight hits against the lefty, including a two-run double from left fielder Scott Coleman. Mason used two Ks in that inning to avoid any further trouble.
In Marshall’s ensuing frame, Alfredo Brito provided the Herd with an RBI-single to right field to score Ballou and halve the lead. Meeks’ bomb came only two pitches after that and gave the Herd the lead for good.
Runnin’ Bulldog starter Conner Scarborough – who struck out seven – was dealt the loss after allowing four earned runs on six hits. The junior’s earned run average jumped from 1.76 to 3.10 after the loss.
In the sixth, Nathan Gomez doubled in John Gandolfo and Gray Stafford with two outs before Brito and Meeks walked to load the bases for Farris. On the 1-0 pitch, Farris pulled a fastball down the left field line for his first collegiate home run.
Stafford and Gomez had RBI at-bats in the seventh as Marshall added two more runs of insurance. Again in the ninth, Gomez delivered his fourth RBI with a groundout to short, scoring Gandolfo a second time.
Stafford finished the day 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Brito (2-for-5) and Meeks (2-for-3) also had multi-hit days. Gomez and Farris each drove in four runs, while Meeks drove in three.
Game three of the series will take place Sunday at 2 p.m.
Meeks’ home run was the 24th in his career, bringing him one step closer to Eric Pinkerton’s 27 career homers which have him 10th all-time in Marshall history. Ballou’s stolen base in the fifth brought him to a tie with Nate Lape at number six all-time with 37 career swipes. Mason’s eight strikeouts put him only 19 away from the 200 milestone.