April 10, 2008
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Marshall University freshmen infielders Kenny Socorro and Tyler Oliver each blasted their first collegiate triples of the season and junior Kurt Lipton added his second three-bagger of the year, but Louisville used a six-run second inning to pace the Cardinals to a 12-8 victory over the Herd in Wednesday evening's non-conference baseball game at Jim Patterson Stadium.
With the loss, Marshall falls to 14-16-1 overall, while Louisville improves to 17-13 on the season.
Trailing 12-7 in the top of the ninth, Lipton laced a one-out double and then scored on an RBI single by left fielder Jeff Rowley but the Herd could get no closer, as Louisville held on for a 12-8 victory.
Louisville starter James Belanger (4-1) takes the win, while Herd starter Justin Moore (1-2) suffers the loss. Belanger struck out five in five innings of work on the hill.
Marshall plated four runs in the top of the first when second baseman Kenny Socorro singled to right field, and then advanced to second on third baseman Victor Gomez's bullet through the right side. Socorro then scored on a double to left field by Lipton, while Gomez came home on a fielder's choice by catcher Tommy Johnson. Rowley knocked in Lipton with a sacrifice fly to center, before Oliver tripled to right field, scoring Johnson, to give the Herd a 4-0 advantage.
Louisville answered with six runs in the bottom of the second stanza when the Cardinals led off the inning with three consecutive singles before catcher Kyle Cheesbrough drove in a run with a one-out sacrifice fly to center field. Center fielder Drew Haynes then reached on a fielder's choice to drive in a run before shortstop John Dao singled, and left fielder Josh Richmond blasted a two-out RBI single. Second baseman Justin McClanahan and third baseman Chris Dominguez followed that with back-to-back RBI doubles before first baseman Andrew Clark (who started the inning with a single) popped up to shortstop to end the inning.
The Cardinals struck again in the fourth to post a 9-4 lead when Richmond singled, advanced to third on McClanahan's single through the left side and then scored on a poke to center field by Dominguez. Following a double steal, Clark drew a walk, and McClanahan came around on designated hitter Jeff Arnold's free pass. Right fielder Alec Lowrey drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center field, before the third walk of the inning loaded the bases, but a harmless groundout to third base ended the three-run frame for Louisville.
Marshall got two runs back in the top of the fifth to make the score 9-6 when designated hitter Matt Helm singled up the middle and then scored when Socorro laced a triple to right field. Socorro then came around on an RBI ground out by Gomez. Lipton singled through the left side and advanced to second on a wild pitch before taking third on Johnson's infield single. Both runners were stranded as Belanger struck out the next batter to end the inning.
The Cardinals added three more runs in the bottom half of the frame to extend its lead to 12-6 when McClanahan pelted his sixth home run of the season to deep left field. Herd right-handed reliever Andrew Hancock replaced Moore and allowed two hits but did not surrender a run.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Marshall notched its seventh run of the game when Lipton nailed a triple (the third of the game for the Herd) to right center field. Johnson then picked up his second RBI of the game with a groundout to second base. After the Herd drew two walks, Cardinals relief pitcher Neil Holland registered a strikeout to close out the inning.
Right-hander Adam Dobies came on for Hancock and hurled a scoreless seventh. Hancock allowed just three hits while striking out three in two innings of work. Socorro then made his second appearance on the mound and pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Herd and struck out a Cardinal batter.
Marshall returns to conference action this weekend for a three-game series at East Carolina starting April 11-13. The Herd and Pirates will kick things off Friday, at 6:00 p.m., with Saturday's game also to be played at 6:00 p.m. The series finale will take place Sunday 1:00 p.m.