April 8, 2017
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Marshall baseball team got back into the win column Saturday at Young Memorial Field by outlasting the UAB Blazers in extra innings, 2-1.
The Thundering Herd improves to 14-15 (5-6 Conference USA), while the Blazers fall to 16-15 (5-6 C-USA). Sophomore Wade Martin (3-1) earned the win for Marshall and redshirt junior Matt Reed (2) registered the save. UAB’s relief pitcher Garrett Whitlock (3-4) suffered the setback.
Martin was nothing short of spectacular on the mound for the Herd. The Wheelersburg, Ohio native pitched a career-high nine innings with seven strikeouts. The sophomore held the Blazers hitless until the fifth inning. He finished the day with three hits allowed and one earned run. Martin lowered his season ERA to 2.22 and now has 51 strikeouts this season. In conference play, Martin holds a 1.80 ERA with 30 strikeouts.
Right fielder Andrew Zban gave Marshall the lead in the top of the third inning. The Huntington, W.Va., native led off with a solo home run to right field. It was Zban’s second home run of the season and his ninth RBI.
UAB tied the game in bottom half of the seventh inning. Catcher Pierce Ressmeyer singled to third base and later moved over to second on a ground out. After a fly out to center field, Ressmeyer stole third with two outs. He came around to score on a double by designated hitter Stephen Dobbs to left center field.
Marshall threatened to break the tie in the eighth and ninth inning by putting runners in scoring position. Tyler Ratliff and Sam Finfer had back-to-back singles in the eighth with two outs to put runners on the corners. Zban had his second hit of the day in the top of the ninth with a two-out double to left field.
The Herd broke the deadlock in the top of the 10th inning. Ratliff got things rolling for the Herd with a one-out single back up the middle. After a strikeout, Marshall executed a perfect hit-and-run as Ratliff took off on the first pitch and Shane Hanon hit a double to right center field to score Ratliff.
UAB got a runner in the bottom of the 10th with one out, but relief pitcher Reed forced a ground out to first base and a strikeout to clinch the Herd’s one-run win.
Eight of the nine batters for the Herd recorded a hit Saturday afternoon. Ratliff, Zban and Billy Sager each had a pair of hits. Hanon’s double in extra innings extended his hit streak to 13 games, the longest for the Thundering Herd this season. He has also reached base safely in 16 consecutive games, tied for most this season with Ratliff and Cory Garrastazu.
Marshall and UAB are scheduled to play the rubber game of the series Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (ET).