Marshall Loses Home Opener to St. Bonaventure 3-1


Nathan Gomez

Nathan Gomez

March 16, 2012

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BECKLEY, W.Va. -- The Marshall baseball team fell to St. Bonaventure 3-1 in its home opener Friday evening here at Epling Stadium. 

The Thundering Herd (7-10) recorded eight hits, but only Gray Stafford’s RBI double in the eighth brought home any runs.  The team stranded a total of 10 runners, eight of which were left on base in the final three innings.

Sophomore starting pitcher Aaron Blair (1-3) pitched effectively for six innings but took the loss when he gave up two runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth.  St. Bonaventure (6-5) plated those runs on a sacrifice fly from Billy Urban and a double down the left field line from Austin Ingraham in the succeeding at-bat.  Blair’s day included three strikeouts, two walks, and two earned runs on six hits.    

After failing to earn much more than a base-runner through the first six innings of play, the Herd worked runners to first and second with one out in the seventh.  Adrian Farris and Thor Meeks each had chances then, but a Farris groundout and a Meeks fly-out ended the inning.  Meeks missed a game-tying home run to straight-away center by only a few feet in his at-bat.

In the eighth, Stafford’s double drove in Andrew Dundon who had previously reached on a single to lead off the inning.  A walk and a base hit later, Marshall saw the bases loaded but failed to capitalize.

Again in the ninth, Farris, Dundon, and Eric Escobedo –pinch hitting for Mikey Jimenez – all reached base but the Herd could not find a way to bring them in. 

St. Bonaventure (6-5) starter Eddie Gray (2-1) allowed one earned run on seven hits in his eight full innings on the mound.  The lefty struck out the side in the second as part of a sequence where he sat down four straight Herd hitters on strikes.  In all, Gray struck out eight and walked one.

Jason Radwan picked up his second save of the season for St. Bonaventure.  The junior loaded the bases in the ninth via a base hit, a walk, and a hit batsman but worked his way out of the trouble with a strikeout and a fly-out. 

Radwan also led the Bonnies on offense, displaying a 2-for-4 performance at the plate and scoring the eventual game-winning run in the fourth. 

Isaac Ballou finished the game 2-for-3, reaching base in his first two at-bats.  Nathan Gomez finished 2-for-4.

Sophomore Josh King threw four strikeouts in three hitless innings of relief in the seventh, eighth, and ninth. 

Marshall and St. Bonaventure will square off Saturday at 4 p.m. in game two of the series.