@HerdBaseball Pitching Stifles Virginia Tech Offense Wednesday Night, 3-1
First win over the Hokies since 2005
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall baseball pitching staff held the Virginia Tech offense to only four hits in its 3-1 win on Wednesday night at Appalachian Power Park.
The Thundering Herd improves to 13-14 overall with the victory, while the Hokies fall to 17-14 overall. Redshirt junior Matt Reed (4-3) earned the win in relief. Virginia Tech starting pitcher Andrew McDonald (1-2) suffered the loss. Junior Will Ray collected his second save of the season.
The win gave Marshall its first win over the Hokies since April 23, 2005 in Blacksburg, Va. The last time the Herd defeated Virginia Tech in the Mountain State was on April 2, 1998 in Huntington, W.Va.
Virginia Tech looked to set the tone of the ballgame early on. The Hokies took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning from a Ryan Tufts solo home run to left field.
Freshman starting pitcher Mark Meyer showed composure on the mound and didn’t let the early home run rattle him. The Dalton, Ohio native sat down seven straight batters from the second to the fourth inning. Meyer picked up the no decision in his first career start, but pitched 4.1 innings and only allowed the one run and surrendered three hits. He had a career-high three strikeouts.
The Thundering Herd scoring started with two runs in the bottom of the second. Shane Hanon led off the inning with a single to right field, extending his hit streak to 11 games. Hanon advanced to second on a Tommy Lane ground out. Cory Garrastazu singled up the middle that took a deflection off Virginia Tech pitcher McDonald. McDonald rushed his throw to first and threw it over his first baseman’s head, causing Garrastazu to advance to second and allowing Hanon to score. In the following at-bat, Billy Sager gave Marshall the lead with a single up the middle to score Garrastazu.
The Herd escaped a fifth inning threat by the Hokies with runners on the corners and one out. Reed came into the ballgame from the bullpen to relieve Meyer. Reed went on to strikeout Virginia Tech’s next two batters to end the inning.
The Thundering Herd added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tyler Ratliff led off the frame by getting hit by a pitch. Ratliff later stole second base with two outs. Lane drove in Ratliff with a single up the middle.
Seven batters combined for Marshall’s eight hits at the plate. Hanon led the way by going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Sager and Lane each went 1-for-3 with a RBI. Garrastazu extended his reached base safely streak to 15 games.
Reed pitched a perfect 1.2 innings on the mound in relief. He allowed no hits with four strikeouts. Ray tossed three shutout innings and only allowed one hit. He had two strikeouts.
Quotes by head coach Jeff Waggoner
On the win…
I’m just really excited the way our guys came out and responded from last night. Anytime you can bring in an ACC team and get the win is great. Hopefully our guys can carry this momentum into this weekend against a good UAB team. We just played really good team baseball and did a great job with our pitching staff. For freshman Mark Meyer to come out there and fill the strike zone and give us a chance to win was super exciting for the program.
On Mark Meyer…
Mark has been working hard. His bullpen and inter-squad has been really good. It’s just really exciting to see him come out in his first start against Virginia Tech, a really good hitting team, and do what he did.
Marshall heads to Birmingham, Ala. for a Conference USA three-game weekend series against the UAB Blazers. First game of the series will take place Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET). The series continues Saturday at 3 p.m. (ET) and concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (ET).