March 30, 2013
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- After coming from behind to defeat UAB 3-1 in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader at Appalachian Power Park, Marshall’s baseball team fell in the three-game series finale 12-4 to drop the Conference USA opener to the Blazers (12-15, 2-4 C-USA).
Marshall (11-15, 1-2 C-USA) received outstanding performances from right-handed pitchers Aaron Blair and Ryan Hopkins in the first game. Blair, in his sixth start of the season, scattered seven hits across six innings in his fourth straight quality start. Blair struck out four and walked four while improving to 4-1.
Hopkins, brought in to relieve Blair after six, was perfect for three innings, retiring all nine batters he faced. The redshirt junior struck out two and picked up his second save of the season.
Marshall struggled on offense in the early game, finding only four hits but producing three runs which were enough to overcome an early UAB lead. After the Blazers scored their only run of the game in the first frame, the Thundering Herd got two runs in the fourth to go into the lead for good. Isaac Ballou had a double in that inning, and freshman Chase Vogelbach hit a sacrifice fly that proved to be the game winner.
The Herd added an insurance run in the seventh when Gray Stafford doubled to lead things off, then scored on Alfredo Brito’s pinch hit, two-out single.
In game two, Marshall got on the board first, but a five-run second by the Blazers was enough to secure the series victory.
Starting pitcher Michael Taylor suffered the loss and dropped to 3-2 this season. In five innings, he gave up six runs (three earned) on five hits and four walks. Taylor struck out four.
Vogelbach went 3-for-4 in the loss while Ballou and Andrew Dundon
each had two hits.
Marshall had chances to cut into the UAB lead in the fifth and sixth but only managed one run to show for four hits, a walk, and a hit batter in those two innings.
A busy upcoming week has Marshall traveling to Morgantown, W.Va., for a rematch with WVU on Tuesday; Richmond, Ky., for a meeting with Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday; then back to Charleston for a weekend series with C-USA foe Houston, currently ranked No. 19 nationally.