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Herd Sweeps Gardner-Webb with 4-3 Victory

Mikey Jimenez

March 11, 2012

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BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- Marshall’s baseball team completed a series sweep for the first time since 2010 as it defeated Gardner-Webb 4-3 Sunday evening here at J.H. Moss Stadium.

Freshman Adrian Farris doubled in the game-winning run with two outs in the top of the ninth to break a 3-3 tie and complete the Thundering Herd’s second straight come-from-behind victory. 

Starting pitcher Wayland Moore allowed three runs – only one of which was earned – in the bottom of the first before the Herd pitching staff went on to throw eight scoreless innings.  Moore, Josh King, Joe Church, and Jesse Fernandez all shared a piece of that effort, with Church (2-0) picking up the win and Fernandez the save (2). 

“[This] was what the team needed,” said head coach Jeff Waggoner.  “We had quality at-bats, we played great defense, and we pitched really well.  It was a good team win all the way through.” 

Marshall (7-8) jumped out on top in the first inning when Alfredo Brito drove in his ninth run of the season with a single to left field.  Isaac Ballou scored on the play after swiping his team-leading eighth stolen base.

Gardner-Webb’s half of the first featured a Herd error, three hits, a sacrifice fly, and a hit batsman which helped the Runnin’ Bulldogs plate three runs and take the lead 3-1. 

The Herd cut into that advantage two innings later when Mikey Jimenez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. 

The score remained 3-2 in favor of Gardner-Webb through the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings until John Gandolfo singled in Nathan Gomez with a base hit to shallow center.

Marshall waited until the ninth to complete the comeback.  With another two-out hit, Farris popped a double that landed fair along the left field line, scoring Gray Stafford from third.

Church worked the eighth inning and struck out the side despite Scott Coleman reaching base on an error to lead off.

Fernandez closed out the ninth with a soft pop fly and two punchouts. 

The Herd pitching staff struck out 11 GWU hitters in all and kept the Bulldogs hitless for the last 4.1 innings of play.  Further, the Marshall defense held Gardner-Webb (9-6) scoreless in the fourth and fifth despite seeing runners reach second and third. 

Moore pitched 3.2 innings, allowed four hits, walked two, and struck out three in his first start this season.  King added 3.1 innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three.  Neither Church nor Fernandez allowed a hit or a walk in an inning apiece. 

Gomez recorded his third three-hit game this season with a 3-for-5 outing.  The junior also scored two runs.  Stafford (2-for-5), Farris (2-for-3), and Gandolfo (2-for-5) each had a multiple hit day.