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Herd Sweeps Canisius at Frigid University Heights Doubleheader

March 17, 2007

Box Score

Game One - MU 8, CC 7 (10 inn.)
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Game Two - MU 12, CC 3
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Sophomore shortstop Brandon Casamassima (Colleyville, Texas) went 5-for-9 and collected five RBI in leading the Marshall baseball team to a doubleheader sweep of Canisius on Saturday at frigid University Heights. The Thundering Herd (12-4) won a 10-inning contest in game one, 8-7, and routed the Golden Griffins (4-14) by a 12- 3 decision in game two.

Game One Marshall led 7-1 through three innings, but Canisius fought back to tie the game and send it into extra innings where the Herd would win on a 10th inning RBI single by Matt Helm (Downingtown, Pa.).

Casamassima crossed the plate with the winning run with no outs on Helm's second hit of the game, a single up the middle. The run was Marshall's first since it erupted early in the game with four runs in the first and three in the third.

Casamassima hit his team-leading fifth home run over the left field wall in the third inning. Brendan Murphy (Chattanooga, Tenn.) led off the inning with a double and Jeff Rowley (Buffalo, N.Y.) reached on an error, setting up Casamassima's three-run blast.

The Griffins chipped away at its deficit throughout, highlighted by a three-run fifth inning that marked the end of the day for starter Jeremy Slone (Paintsville, Ky.). Slone pitched five innings and allowed six hits and four runs while striking out three.

Nick Wolle (Coatesville, Pa.) picked up the win with his 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to move to 1-0 on the year.

Josh Valle (Brentwood, N.Y.) had a team-high three hits (3-for-5) with an RBI. Helm knocked two runs in his 2-for-3 game while Murphy, Rowley and Casamassima scored two runs apiece.

Canisius' Kevin Raimer went 3-for-4 while centerfielder Branson Joseph collected three RBI. Reliever Ryan McGorman took the loss, allowing his lone run in the 10th after three innings of work.

Game Two The Marshall offense exploded while pitcher Brian Chrisman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) held Canisius to two hits over six innings as the Herd earned the sweep with a 12-3 win over the Griffins.

Marshall answered Canisius' unearned run in the top of the first with a three-run burst in the bottom of the frame. Mason Chapman (Barboursville, W.Va.) drew a lead-off walk and later scored thanks to three Alex McKenzie wild pitches. A Rowley single was followed by a two-run double to the centerfield wall by Casamassima for a 3-1 Herd lead.

McKenzie continued to struggle in the second, allowing a runner to score on a balk. His day ended in the third when a Valle hard grounder up the middle struck him in the lower left leg. He was helped off the field with two runners on and one out and replaced by fellow right-hander Dan Clifford.

The end of the third and top of the fourth provided back-to-back defensive gems. Canisius second baseman Adam Cholewka tracked down a Chapman grounder up the middle with a nice backhand stab to end the Herd third. The Griffins' Connor Burke looked to have a base hit through the left side to lead off the CC fourth, but third baseman Helm made a diving stop on the ball to record the first of a 1-2-3 inning.

The Herd posted 13 hits in game two, with Rowley and Cassamassima each recording three hits. Chrisman struck out three Griffins to move to 3-0 on the season.

The Herd and Griffins will complete the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. first pitch.