April 9, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Marshall University baseball team scored four runs on four hits in the eighth inning to snap a 3-3 tie, while the pitching staff held the UAB offense to just three hits, as the Thundering Herd knocked off the Blazers, 7-3 on a crystal clear Friday night in Conference USA action at Young Memorial Field.
Marshall snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory to improve to 12-16 overall, 3-4 in C-USA play, while UAB dropped to 18-10 and 4-3 against league opponents.
Catcher Victor Gomez laced a trio of singles with a RBI, Kirby Pellant went 2-for-4 with a RBI triple and Kurt Lipton added a two-run three-bagger as MU pounded out 10 hits on the night.
Herd righty Ian Kadish worked his way around a pair of walks in the second, but he continued to struggle with command of the strike zone in the third. The junior issued consecutive two-out bases loaded free passes to Ryan Ussery and Andrew Manning as the Blazers would add another run on a passed ball, scoring three times in the inning.
The MU offense was held hitless by UAB starter Mitch Kloskowski entering the top of the fourth. Kurt Lipton was plunked prior to V. Gomez slicing a base hit into the right-centerfield gap, the first MU hit of the night. The Herd would eventually get the sacks packed when Chris Norton drew a walk, but Kloskowski dodged a bullet when Kenny Socorro lined to second baseman Nick Crawford for an unassisted inning-ending double play.
After Kadish settled down and retired the Blazer lineup in order in the fifth, MU put Kloskowski on the hot seat for the second-straight inning and this time turned the burners on high. Justin Maynard and Kirby Pellant each reached base with one out thanks to a hit by pitch and a whistling base hit to left. After Josh Valle was retired, Lipton ripped a triple into the right-field corner to plate two runners ending the night for Kloskowski. V. Gomez greeted UAB reliever Ben Bullard (3-1) with a RBI single up the middle to knot the score, 3-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Blazers put three ducks on the pond with one out. The Herd called upon senior righty Tyler Gatrell (2-2) out of the bullpen and the Boyd County, Ky., native delivered. The sidearmer induced a pop up from the No. 3 hitter Jonathan Merritt and struck out cleanup batter John Frost swinging, to keep the tie game intact.
The sixth was the final inning Kadish would work for the Herd. The right-hander battled through 5.1 frames and finished with an interesting stat line, allowing just three earned runs on only two hits, but walked nine batters and struck out three.
With one down in the eighth, the Herd started cooking with gas at the plate. Ben Jurevicius, who entered as a defensive replacement earlier in the contest, walked. Head coach Jeff Waggoner pulled the right strings, calling a hit-and-run converted perfectly by shortstop Socorro to put runners on the corners. Later, Jurevicius raced home when Bullard uncorked a wild pitch to give the Herd its first lead of the night. Pinch hitter Alfredo Brito followed by lining a single back up the box to score Socorro.
UAB called upon Benji Waite to calm the thunderous storm that MU had already been released. Pellant smacked a triple to right to score pinch-runner Rhett Stafford and tallied the seventh run when Valle knocked him in with a RBI single, putting the Herd up 7-3.
The Herd will return to action on Saturday at 2 p.m. CST at Young Memorial Field.