March 19, 2017
Final Stats | Box Score (PDF) | Coach Waggoner Postgame Video
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Marshall baseball earned its first Conference USA series win of the season on Sunday with a 3-2 win over the UTSA Roadrunners at Appalachian Power Park.
The Thundering Herd (10-7, 2-1 C-USA) has now won six straight C-USA series dating back to last season. The last series the Herd didn’t win was against Florida Atlantic from April 15-17. UTSA falls to 9-9 (1-2 C-USA).
Marshall broke the scoreless deadlock in the bottom of the fourth inning. Senior outfielder Sam Finfer led off the frame with a single to right field. He was quickly moved over to third on a Tyler Ratliff double down the left field line. Later in the inning, Reynaldo Pastrana drove in Finfer on a ground out to the UTSA second baseman.
The lead didn’t last for Marshall as the Roadrunners scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning. UTSA led off the inning with back-to-back singles from Tony Beam and Bryan Arias. After Sean Stacy came into the game as pinch-runner for Beam, Chris Estrada was walked to load the bases. CJ Pickering capitalized on the bases loaded with a 2-run double to left enter that scored Stacy and Arias.
The Herd had an answer in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of its own. Pastrana led off the inning with a single down the third base line. Pastrana would later advance to second on a throwing error on the third baseman during a Billy Sager bunt. The Herd brought in Andrew Zban to pinch-run for Sager at first. With runners at first and second, Shane Hanon singled up the middle to tie the game at 2 with Pastrana crossing the plate. Later in the inning, Zban came around to give the Herd what would be the game-winning run on a Will Ray fielder’s choice.
Starting pitcher Patrick Murphy picked up the no decision today, but put the Herd in a position to earn the win. Murphy went six innings and allowed two runs on eight hits. The sophomore had five strikeouts and zero walks. In relief of Murphy was Matt Reed and Ray. Reed earned his third win of the season by pitching one inning with one strikeout. Ray claimed his first save of his Herd career by tossing two shutout innings with two strikeouts.
Hanon led Marshall at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a RBI. Finfer, Ratliff, Pastrana, and Cory Garrastazu each had one hit. Ratliff had the lone extra base hit for the Herd.
Quotes by head coach Jeff Waggoner
On winning the series…
“Big series win at home. UTSA is a really good team. We just played good team baseball all weekend. Our starters did a great job giving us a chance to win every game. Then guys stepped up at the plate when we needed them to. It’s a lot watching these guys getting better and better.”
Marshall begins a four-game road swing on Wednesday, March 22 against the Tennessee Volunteers at 6 p.m. The Herd wraps up its trip with a three-game series at Southern Miss from Friday-Sunday.