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Baseball Drops Game Two to Liberty 9-5

Eric Semeniuk

March 31, 2012

Final Stats

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Beckley, W.Va. -- For the second night in a row, the Marshall baseball team rallied back from a middle-inning deficit, but Liberty again had answers as the Flames defeated the Thundering Herd 9-5 Saturday at Linda K. Epling Stadium. 

The loss put the Herd at 10-16 this season and dealt the team its fifth consecutive defeat.  Liberty (25-5) won the series and will have a chance at the sweep on Sunday. 

The last time Marshall was swept in a non-conference series was in 2010 at the hands of Le Moyne.

Marshall did not allow more than two runs in any one inning but suffered as Liberty plated at least one in six straight frames, playing small ball from the beginning of the second until the end of the seventh.  The Flames used 17 hits to score twice in the second, fourth, and seventh and once in the third, fifth, and sixth. 

Marshall trimmed a 6-1 lead to 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth as four straight batters recorded hits.  Alfredo Brito’s rope single up the middle drove in a run and extended the junior’s hitting streak to 14 games.  Eric Escobedo also singled in a run in that inning, and Eric Semeniuk was credited with an RBI on a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Herd’s first run came in the fourth when Louie Helmburg battled back from an 0-2 count with two outs to draw a bases-loaded walk.  Helmburg saw eight pitchers during the at-bat, six of which came with two strikes.

Marshall stranded three runners in the fourth as part of nine left on base during the game.  Liberty left 14 runners on base. 

Mike Mason (3-3) took the loss, conceding six runs (three earned) on 9 hits and three walks.  The senior struck out three and is now only seven Ks away from 200, a milestone reached by only four other pitchers in Marshall history.

Isaac Ballou led Marshall’s offense with a 2-for-3 showing where he walked twice and stole three bases.  The three stolen bases tied his personal best for a single game and helped him climb to fifth all-time at Marshall with 43 career steals. 

Reliever Trey Lambert (1-0) was awarded the win, throwing one and two-thirds innings of hitless baseball in the fifth and sixth.  Jared Lyons claimed his second save in as many nights after going the final three and one-third innings.

Game three of the series will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon and can be followed via Gametracker.  Marshall faced the same scenario in Beckley two weeks ago when it defeated St. Bonaventure 6-3 to avoid being swept.