Late Lead Slips; Herd Falls at Home to St. Bonaventure 10-8
St. Bonaventure leads the series 2-0 and will go for a sweep Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
March 17, 2012
BECKLEY, W.Va. -- The St. Bonaventure Bonnies and Marshall Thundering Herd baseball teams exchanged leads three times late in the game, but it was the Bonnies who came away victorious, 10-8, Saturday evening at Epling Stadium.
St. Bonaventure improved to 7-5 and won the three-game series after winning each of the first two games.
Marshall (7-11) will look to avoid the sweep when the two teams meet for game three Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Saturday's contest remained a low-scoring affair through the first six innings of play as the Herd found only three runs on seven hits through its first six frames. Those runs were enough for the lead, though, as starting left-hander Mike Mason allowed two earned runs on eight hits, struck out eight, and walked just two to put himself in line for the win.
But the game changed gears in the seventh as St. Bonaventure opened things up, scoring five earned runs on Marshall's sixth-inning relief staff - which consisted of Joe Church and Matt Margaritonda. Church took four of those runs after allowing two base hits and two walks.
Marshall fought back from the 7-3 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, matching the Bonnies run for run to reclaim the lead at 8-7. The Herd scored all five of those runs with two outs as eight straight batters reached base. During that stretch, Nathan Gomez missed a three-run homer by mere inches, although the junior came around to score in the inning anyway.
When the game moved into the eighth, St. Bonaventure forced another Marshall reliever into a quick exit. Freshman John McGillicuddy began the inning with a pair of walks which helped the Bonnies scratch across three runs and take the lead back for good.
Marshall again left 10 runners on base, including six in the last three innings. In fact, the Herd ninth saw the first two hitters reach base but the next three sat down.
Mason's quality start turned into his first no-decision of the season. The senior has now struck out 189 hitters in his career which has him eighth on Marshall's all-time list. Mason is also now tied for fourth all-time in career starts (39).
Gomez' near home run - which turned into a double - in the seventh drove in two runs. Five other members of the Herd recorded one RBI.
St. Bonaventure starter Jordan Crane pitched 6.2 innings and was peppered with 12 hits and eight earned runs. The senior also took a no-decision as reliever Jason Radwan (1-1) picked up the win. Radwan struck out two in 2.1 innings pitched.
McGillicuddy (0-1) took the loss.