March 25, 2008
RALEIGH, N.C. - Marshall University junior third baseman Brandon Casamassima tallied a pair of RBIs but North Carolina State used a two-run single by right fielder Matt Payne in the eighth inning to propel the Wolfpack to a 9-5 victory over the Herd in Tuesday night's non-conference baseball game at Doak Field at Dail Park in Raleigh, N.C.
Marshall loses its sixth straight to fall to 8-12 overall, while North Carolina State improves to 14-7 on the season.
Trailing 7-5 in the top of the eighth inning, Marshall could not muster any offense, as Wolfpack left-handed reliever Jimmy Gillheeney hurled a one-two-three inning.
NC State placed runners on second and third in the bottom of the eighth before Payne cleared the bases with a two-out single to right field, extending the Wolfpack lead to 9-5.
Gillheeney then secured the victory with a one-two-three ninth inning. Marshall drew first blood, scoring twice in the first frame. With one out, sophomore first baseman Josh Valle drew a walk and advanced to third on an infield single by junior center fielder Nate Lape. Lape stole second and two batters later, both players scored on Casamassima's two-run single to left field.
NC State responded with a four-run bottom of the second. Left fielder Ryan Pond was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on first baseman Pat Ferguson's single, and came full circle on catcher Chris Schaeffer's single to even the game at 2-2. Ferguson scored on an RBI groundout to give the Wolfpack a 3-2 advantage. Shortstop Tommy Foschi was hit by a pitch, while second baseman Dallas Poulk singled through the right side scoring Schaeffer and advancing Foschi to third. Foschi then scored on a throwing error to give NC State a 4-2 lead.
The Herd answered in the top of the third with back-to-back singles by junior shortstop Adam Yeager and Valle. Yeager then stole third and scored on a throwing error to cut the Wolfpack lead to 4-3. NC State right-handed Starter Jeff Stallings retired the next three batters in order to get out of the inning.
The Wolfpack pushed its lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the third when Payne earned a lead off walk and then advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches. Following a ground out, designated hitter Jeremy Synan blasted an RBI double to left field, scoring Payne. Synan scored on Ferguson's RBI double to right field. Herd freshman right-handed starter Justin Moore
forced a pair of fly outs to end the inning down 6-3.
Moore finished after three innings of work, surrendering six runs on five hits and takes the loss to fall to 0-1 on the season.
Senior right-handed reliever Andrew Hancock entered in relief and pitched a scoreless fourth inning.
Stallings left the game after four innings as he allowed three runs on five hits and walked two. Left-handed reliever Andrew Taylor allowed a lead off hit to freshman second baseman Kenny Socorro, who then advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Yeager, but struck out the next two batters to preserve the 6-3 lead.
Hancock pitched two solid innings giving up no runs on one hit and walked one.
NC State plated its seventh run of the game after loading the bases with no outs in the bottom of the sixth. Foschi scored on a sacrifice fly by Payne before Herd sophomore right-handed reliever Tyler Gatrell was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.
Marshall cut its deficit to 7-5 in the top of the seventh when senior catcher Tommy Johnson drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a single by Socorro, reached third on Yeager's fielder's choice and continued home on a throwing error by the Wolfpack. Socorro was out at second on the play. Yeager then scored on Valle's RBI single through the right side. Taylor got out of the inning with an inning-ending strikeout to avoid further damage.
Taylor (2-1) picks up the win after allowing two runs on three hits in three innings of relief work for the Wolfpack.
Mooney pitched a one-two-three seventh inning for the Herd.
Valle and Socorro each finished with two hits in the game.
Marshall returns to action Wednesday for the series finale with NC State. First-pitch is slated for 3:30 p.m. at Doak Field at Dail Park in Raleigh, N.C.