April 2, 2006
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Chris Monaco's run-scoring single capped a three-run eighth inning rally to lead the Marshall baseball team to a 6-5 win Sunday in Conference USA play at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, W.Va. The win was Marshall's first ever in C-USA play.
The Thundering Herd (11-13, 1-2 C-USA) trailed 5-3 entering the eighth but quickly mounted a rally as Aaron Levinson (Sr., Seattle, Wash.) and Brit Vincent (Jr., Bowling Green, Ky.) led off with back-to-back singles off UCF reliever Brian Brooks. After an Adam Ptacek (Sr., Assaria, Kan.) sacrifice bunt, Brent Mason (Sr., Sherwood, Ark.) ripped a single to center off UCF pitcher Jaager Good to plate both runners and knot the score at five. The Golden Knights brought in closer Dominic Petracca to face Monaco. After a wild pitch moved Mason to second, Monaco laced a single to left to score Mason with the winning run.
Andrew Blain (So., Huntington, W.Va.) pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn his first career win. Brian Knippelmeyer (Sr., Lincoln, Neb.) got the final out to record his third save. Good (0-1) took the loss for UCF.
Chris Koutsavlis (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) overcame a rocky start to pitch seven strong innings for Marshall. Koutsavlis gave up eight hits, five earned runs and three walks while striking out six, but allowed just two hits over the final four innings.
Vincent and Monaco each recorded three hits to lead the Herd, while UCF's Ryan Bono went 4-for-4.
Adam Frederick (Sr., Franklin, Pa.) went 1-for-4 and moved within one hit of the all-time Marshall hits record of 208, held by David Colangelo (1999-02).
UCF (18-13, 2-1 C-USA) jumped on Koutsavlis early and scored three runs in the first inning. Ryan Williams opened the scoring with an RBI single and Steve Stropp brought home the next on a double-play groundout. Matt Horwath tacked on another run with a single.
The Thundering Herd cut into the lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, the Herd strung together three straight hits on singles by Frederick and Rich Russell (Sr., Toronto, Ontario) and a run-scoring double by Brendan Murphy (Jr., Chattanooga, Tenn). Roddy Stieger (Sr., West Chester, Ohio) hit a sacrifice fly to bring the Herd to within 3-2.
UCF got those runs back in the third inning. With two outs, Horwath doubled to the wall in center to score Bono and Kiki Vazquez, giving the Golden Knights a 5-2 advantage.
Marshall added a run in the fifth inning. Monaco led off with a walk and then stole second base. Two batters later, he scored on a Murphy sacrifice fly.
Marshall steps out of league play Tuesday for a 6 p.m. contest at Ohio. The Herd returns to Conference USA action at 2 p.m. Friday, playing host to Memphis at Appalachian Power Park. The game will be part of a doubleheader with the single-A West Virginia Power. Tickets for all Conference USA games at Appalachian Power Park are on sale now by calling 1-800-THE-HERD or logging on to www.herdzone.com. One ticket is good for admission to both games.